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Sacred Heart Hires New Diversity and Inclusion Executive Director

Julie Lawrence ’85 will lead diversity, equity, inclusion and affirmative action initiatives

Julie Lawrence

Sacred Heart University has hired Julie Lawrence ’85, ’17 as the University’s new executive director of diversity and inclusion in the Human Resources Department.

In this new role, Lawrence, of Stratford, will lead the development and implementation of a proactive plan for diversity, equity and inclusivity. This plan and her efforts will support SHU’s strategic plan and culture of inclusion, in which everyone has an opportunity to thrive and succeed.

Lawrence will also advise and provide guidance to senior administration on diversity, equity, inclusion and affirmative action matters. She will further support policies and programs to attract, retain and promote a diverse workforce for the University.

“Giving voice to diversity and inclusion improves the social fabric of society. The creative energy and variety of understandings that result from diversity and inclusion environments are critical to intellectual growth and unity–for leadership, faculty, administration and students–at Sacred Heart,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence has an extensive human resources background and a wide range of experience, having led various diversity and inclusion initiatives. Formerly a commercial lender for JP Morgan Chase, she structured real estate, start-up and working capital loans for women, minority-owned businesses and houses of worship in New York City. She then transferred those skills to human resources, using her business acumen for employee development and engagement. She is also a coach, certified by PDI Ninth House, Development Dimensions International and Lominger (Korn/Ferry). She has worked with state of Connecticut, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Columbia and Pfizer.

She earned her master’s degree in applied psychology (industrial/organizational concentration), a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and an associate’s degree in accounting–all from SHU. “I am honored to have the opportunity to support and give back to Sacred Heart University, the organization integral in my educational endeavors and career aspirations,” Lawrence said. She said she’s excited to collaborate with SHU leadership and the broader University community to build a foundation for daily activities, curriculum and programs, leadership and strategy related to diversity and inclusion. “This role is an excellent opportunity to bring diversity and inclusion theory and practice to life through educational benefits, business case and social justice frameworks that fit within SHU’s educational mission,” she said.