Makeba Clay to Head Office of Diversity And Equal Opportunity


            The College of Southern Maryland announces the selection of Makeba L. Clay as executive director of diversity and equal opportunity. With more than 16 years of experience in higher education, Clay brings a strong foundation and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In her most recent position as director of the Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding at Princeton University, Clay focused on the university’s mission of creating greater levels of access, equity and inclusion for all students, faculty and staff. During her tenure, Clay participated as a lead steering committee member for the design and development of a $17-million historic renovation, cultivating and managing donor relationships in conjunction with capital campaign goals of $3.5 million. Clay also developed a multi-disciplinary study-abroad course for students in engineering, architecture and art through integrating culture and sustainable design for the development of new products from natural resources in rural western Africa. She designed a series of signature programs which included Artist in Residence, Faculty in Residence, Leadership in a Networked Society, and multi-year music and gallery exhibitions that increased community participation at the university.

Prior to that, Clay served as director of the Leadership Institute for International Public Policy and associate director of student affairs at the University of Maryland where she developed strategic partnerships between the university and local, state and federal agencies to recruit and retain a diverse pipeline of students entering into academic programs and careers focused on public policy and international affairs.

 Her career in higher education began at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., where she served as assistant director of the Department of Residence Life, and Johns Hopkins University where she held the same title.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/sociology from State University of New York at Albany and a master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is a part-time doctoral student in the department of Education, Leadership, Management and Policy at Seton Hall University.

Clay has advanced training in conflict management from Princeton University, and certification as a human resources trainer from Development Dimensions International. Clay is also an alumnus of the HERS Institute for Women in Higher Education. In addition, Clay has presented numerous workshops and trainings focused on diversity, women’s issues and leadership at the state, regional, national and international level for universities and educational associations.

She has served on the boards of multiple institutions and public service organizations, including the American Council on Education Women’s Network, Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore, and Princeton in Africa. Clay is the immediate past president of the National Association of Black Women in Higher Education, and currently serves as a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers of Higher Education and on the board of the International Foundation for Education and Healthcare, the International Education Fund and Future Next, LLC.

“There is a rich diversity that exists here [in Southern Maryland],” said Clay. “Diversity is about ensuring that everyone has a voice and also that members of our community (students, faculty, staff and members of the administration) feel like they matter and that they belong.  “It is important for all of us to be reminded of how our unique histories shape and influence our common mission of inclusive excellence.”

“I am eager to continue developing the tradition of an open environment at the college by welcoming community partnerships, being a resource to employees at CSM and creating a climate where the values of diversity and community are a reality for all,” said Clay.

CSM has been recognized with its eighth Workplace Excellence Award by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence for its dedication and commitment to employee work-life initiatives as well as its second Health and Wellness Trailblazers Award for its personal wellness initiatives. CSM received the 2008 Equity Award by the Association of Community College Trustees for its leadership in fostering an inclusive environment on campus and in the community for people of color and for minority advances among students and employees. For information about employment opportunities, visit CSM online at or call 301-934-7700, or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7700.