Lawyer, author, and workplace diversity expert Anjali Bindra Patel recently discussed her role as Georgetown Law’s first chief diversity officer and what’s ahead for the school’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI). Chosen last fall to lead the OEI, Patel will focus in part on assessing the school’s diversity and inclusion efforts. “Diversity is easier to measure,” she explains. “Inclusion is more about improving communication and making room for listening…It can be trickier to measure and track your progress, but certainly not impossible.”
Patel, who holds a J.D. from Ohio State University College of Law and a B.A. in Business Management from Kent State University, previously served as global director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Winrock International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization. Before joining Winrock International, she was co-founder and CEO of SweaTours, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm.
Patel also discussed plans for building on Georgetown Law’s diversity-oriented recruitment and networking programs and facilitating the school’s DEI strategic planning process. Her team also will champion new efforts, such as exploring the creation of a resource library that faculty can both contribute to and use themselves to diversify their course materials and incorporate underrepresented perspectives in their coursework.
“To me, DEI efforts are like preventative care…In a medical setting, annual checkups are recommended, and we are encouraged to address small problems before they become chronic issues,” Patel says. “DEI is much the same way. It’s about building the culture we want with each inclusive step and each inclusive action, day after day.”
Read the interview with Anjali Patel here.