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Navajo Nation Member, Bitsóí, Appointed as Chief Diversity Officer

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According to Stony Brook University, LeManuel “Lee” Bitsóí, EdM, EdD is taking on the role as Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY.. In this role, LeManuel will work closely with the University Council.

This isn’t Bitsóí’s first stint at the university. In 2014, he was appointed as the Director of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

According to the board, Bitsóí brings more than 20 years of experience to the table and is a strong representative of Navajo Nation.

Bitsóí earned an undergraduate degree in 1995 at the University of Mexico, where he majored in Child Development and Family Relations. Later in 1998, he added more chops to his belt after earning a Master of Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. Nearly a decade later in 2007, Bitsóí received a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

His activism in cultural diversity programs is also notable. He is an active participant and leader in the STEM diversity movement. He also worked diligently as a key speaker at the Chicago March for Science on behalf of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science.

His journey in academia began while he served as a financial aid advisor at the San Juan College in Farmington New Mexico, where he was responsible for managing the state and federal budget, as well as scholarship programs. Later, Bitsóí was credited for increasing the enrollment rates of Native American students between 2002 and 2004 at Dartmouth College.

He subsequently accepted the role as associate director for recruitment and student affairs at his alma mater, Harvard University, with the aim of representing marginalized students. There, he collaborated with other Ivy League colleges to put together genomics and bioinformatics training programs for minority students.

Another major undertaking was his role as a research investigator at Georgetown University, where he conducted comprehensive research on indigenous communities. The research project is best known as the Indigenous Genomics Project. After its conclusion, Bitsóí returned to Harvard University where he worked under multiple titles.

The hiring board believes that the veteran scholar will be beneficial for evaluating and devising cultural diversity programs.

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