Paula Danquah-Brobby named College of Science Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
After a national search, Dr. Paula Danquah-Brobby begins their role as the new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the College of Science at George Mason University, effective February 14, 2022. As you may know, she emerged from the search as the college's top choice, bringing significant energy, passion, and experience to this new position.
Prior to joining Mason’s College of Science, she was the department chair of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at a minority serving institution (MSI); where she created and embedded DEI strategic planning initiatives throughout department policies, procedures, and systems. I had the opportunity ask Paula a few questions so our Mason Science community might get to know them a bit more.
Why come to Mason, to the College of Science, and why now?
I grew up in the DMV area and have always been fond of George Mason and how the university serves the community. Mason is one of the top schools in the U.S. today and I am extremely proud to be a part of the Mason family.
Why the College of Science and why now? This is a great question! Over the last two years, we have seen seismic changes to our society and culture. From the pandemic to the racial unrest, to political divisions, to the increasing impact of climate change, we as a global community need science and scientist more than ever. As a behavior scientist who has dedicated their life to social justice, and studies cultural behavior science and the cumulative effect of cultural level metacontingencies, I am deeply passionate about the role that science can play in healing various aspects of our world. As such, Mason’s mission and vision align perfectly with my own values and commitment to “creating a more just, free, and prosperous world.” Now is the time!
Who is your role model? And why do they inspire you?
My role model is my grandfather, Dr. Joseph Boakye “JB” Danquah. He is known in Ghana as the “doyen of Gold Coast politics.” He was a pivotal figure in Ghanaian politics during and post-colonization, and was instrumental in freeing Ghana from British colonial rule. As you can see, social justice runs deep in my family and is in my blood. My grandfather and his life’s work have always inspired me to fight for the oppressed, the voiceless, and the marginalized. I’ll always be a champion for equity, justice, and human rights in all that I do in this world.
What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?
That the current president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, is my cousin.
What are you most looking forward to doing in your first 30 days?
I am most looking forward to learning more about the College of Science and getting to know the students, faculty, and staff; getting a pulse of the College’s current culture and climate; and establishing a clear, actionable, and measurable DEI strategy for our community that further highlights our innovative inclusive excellence.