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Duke Names Kimberly Hewitt Vice President for Institutional Equity

Johns Hopkins University officer has deep experience in diversity and compliance issues

Kim Hewitt will succeed Ben Reese as Duke's chief diversity officer.
Kim Hewitt will succeed Ben Reese as Duke's chief diversity officer.

Kimberly Hewitt, an attorney and higher education executive, will be Duke University’s next vice president for institutional equity, President Vince E. Price announced Monday.

Hewitt will succeed Benjamin Reese, Jr., who stepped down last week after serving 14 years as Duke’s chief diversity officer. She will start at Duke August 5.

“We are excited to welcome Kim Hewitt to Duke,” said Price. “Kim is a visionary leader who will collaborate across the university and Duke Health to ensure that we are an ever more inclusive and equitable place to study, work and visit. I look forward to working closely with her to support and strengthen our richly diverse academic community.”

Hewitt is currently vice provost for institutional equity at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where she directs compliance with equal opportunity laws including Title IX and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  She also oversees education and reporting efforts across the university’s schools and academic units, and works closely with the Johns Hopkins Health System on diversity and compliance issues.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to serve in this important role at Duke,” said Hewitt. “I look forward to deepening connections across the university and health system among those who are engaged in diversity work, and to building on the legacy of the Office for Institutional Equity to develop a vision for how we will move forward as a community.”

At Duke, Hewitt will lead institutional initiatives related to promoting diversity within Duke's communities and fostering equal opportunity for all employees, faculty and students. The Office for Institutional Equity advances the occupational and educational mission of the university and health system through diversity, inclusion, affirmative action, employment equity, discrimination and harassment prevention and related initiatives.

Hewitt was selected following a national search chaired by Larry Zelenak, the Pamela B. Gann Professor of Law.

Before joining Johns Hopkins in 2017, Hewitt spent 10 years as director of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at the University of Minnesota, and from 2014-17 served concurrently as the deputy chief of staff for the Office for Equity and Diversity.

Hewitt started her career in higher education as assistant dean for students and multicultural affairs at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, after practicing employment, labor and education law as a partner in the firm Rider Bennett, where she was chair of the education law practice. She also served as an in-house attorney for the Minneapolis Public Schools.

A graduate of Stanford University, Hewitt earned a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.