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Denise O’Neil Green, PhD

Ryerson University
Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion

Dr. Denise O'Neil Green is the first Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (VPECI) at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.  Dr. Green whose leadership, advocacy and deep-rooted passion for the advancement of inclusive campuses, has championed organizational change in post-secondary institutions, both in Canada and the USA, for over 30 years.

Under her leadership, Ryerson has advanced equity, diversity and community inclusion on a number of fronts.  To name a few, Dr. Green convened the first University and Research Funding Agencies’ Equity Officers Roundtable to address strategies and greater alignment between universities and federal agencies with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion; she brought the first ever White Privilege Conference Global - Toronto in 2018 with over 600 delegates to discuss of how privilege and oppression operate in our Canadian society; she co-authored Ryerson’s Truth and Reconciliation Community Consultation Report, which has provided the foundation for the institution’s strategic plan and reconciliation journey onward; and she led a team that developed an All Gender Washroom campaign ensuring accessibility to everyone on the campus.  With Dr. Green championing major inclusive causes such as these, Ryerson continues to maintain its designation as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, since 2015.  

Prior to her appointment as VPECI, an executive leadership post and the first established in Canada, she was the Assistant Vice President/Vice Provost, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Ryerson with a mandate to establish the EDI Division.  

Dr. Green migrated to Canada from the USA in 2012, where she held the post of Associate Vice President of Institutional Diversity at Central Michigan University.  During her tenure at CMU she advanced curricular initiatives, secured over 1.5 million in grant funding for student success programs, and worked with local community groups to spearhead diversity initiatives. Fall 2011, she opened the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, a modern, state of the art facility to showcase diversity initiatives and programming.

Dr. Green, is a scholar and researcher, who has also coauthored “The Case for Affirmative Action on Campus: Concepts of Equity, Considerations for Practice” and “100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women - 2016 edition”.  In addition, she has authored/co-authored over 70 journal articles, book chapters, reports and conference papers, along with lectures on inclusive leadership, building inclusive classrooms, student success, ethical leadership, and diverse qualitative approaches.  She is also Executive Editor of the InstititionalDiversityBlog.com.

A sought after keynote speaker, she has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2017 President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence, the 2016 Pioneers For Change Award for Excellence for Women in Leadership”, and has been named a “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2015.

Dr. Green earned her PhD in Higher Education and Public Policy from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University; and a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago.