Nitza Escalera Appointed Inaugural Dean of Diversity Initiatives

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Nitza Milagros Escalera has been appointed Fordham Law’s first assistant dean of diversity initiatives. She will hold the position concurrently with her longtime position of assistant dean for student affairs.

As dean of student affairs and diversity initiatives, Escalera will work with Fordham Law faculty, students, administrators, centers and institutes, offices, and programs to develop and implement initiatives and activities to enhance the School’s continuing commitment to foster a community that respects and prizes diversity. She will promote the participation of students who are underrepresented in the legal profession because of their race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and gender.

“Dean Escalera has long played a key role in working to ensure that Fordham Law School is responsive to the perspectives and experiences of students of color and other historically underrepresented groups at our School and in the wider community,” said Dean Matthew Diller.

“This new position recognizes her leadership and establishes a clear point person within the Fordham Law administration for the entire range of issues related to diversity and inclusion.”

Escalera’s mandate includes outreach directed at expanding the diversity of the legal profession in general and the Fordham Law community in particular. This will include leading the School’s initiatives to promote and expand engagement with pipeline programs that introduce students at the primary, secondary, and college levels of education to law school and legal careers.

Escalera has long been committed to deepening connections and learning across cultures and diverse groups within the legal profession. At Fordham Law, she has taught a seminar titled Negotiation and Mediation: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, and she also teaches an undergraduate course on Race and Ethnicity at John Jay College.

She is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of PASOS Peace Museum and a former fellow of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and of the Coro Fellow’s Leadership Program. She holds a B.A. from LeMoyne College, M.S. from Syracuse University, M.P.A. from New York University, J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, and Ed.M. Teachers College at Columbia University.

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