<p>Valerie Petit Wilson, currently associate dean of the Graduate School at Brown University, has been named associate provost and director of institutional diversity.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Valerie Wilson, associate dean of the Graduate School and clinical professor of community health, has been named associate provost and director of institutional diversity at Brown University. Wilson will take up her new duties on July 1, 2009, succeeding Brenda Allen, who is leaving Brown to become provost at Winston-Salem State University.

Wilson came to Brown in 2003 to direct the Leadership Alliance, an association of colleges and universities that works to increase and support the participation of under-represented minorities in graduate education and in academic or research careers. In 2005 while continuing to serve as the Leadership Alliance’s executive director, Wilson took on additional duties as associate dean of the Graduate School, responsible for the recruitment and retention of minority graduate students.

“We are fortunate to have in Valerie the talent, energy, experience and understanding of Brown to build upon the excellent progress made in recent years in strengthening diversity across the University,” said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons. “I look forward to her contributions as Brown continues the work of academic enrichment.”

Wilson will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

As associate provost and director of institutional diversity, Wilson will work with deans, department chairs, the Office of Campus Life and other senior administrators to enhance diversity throughout the campus community and to capitalize on the learning opportunities that arise from a rich variety of perspectives.

For the time being, Wilson will continue to have oversight responsibilities for the Leadership Alliance and for the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership, a 45-year institutional collaboration between Brown University and Tougaloo College, near Jackson, Miss.

“Institutional diversity enhances the educational effectiveness of the academic enterprise,” Wilson said. “I look forward to continuing the progress Brown has made to enhance our academic environment.”

Valerie Petit Wilson

A graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (B.S., 1970, chemistry/pre-med), Wilson earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University in 1976, where she was a Ford Foundation predoctoral fellow. After a postdoctoral year in human genetics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Wilson joined the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted research at the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

In 1981, she began a series of assignments as a research administrator and program manager within NIH and then went on to positions in health policy and program analysis with the Public Health Service. She was acting director of the National AIDS Program Office in the Public Health Service in 1993, when she moved to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine as director of the Division of Health Sciences Policy.

In 1998, Wilson was appointed clinical associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and deputy director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane University. She served in those positions until 2003, when she came to Brown as executive director of the Leadership Alliance.