Stetson Announces New Executive Officer for Diversity, Inclusion

Carmen Johnson, JD

Stetson University has selected Carmen Johnson, JD, as its new executive officer for Diversity, Collaboration and Inclusion. In that position, Johnson will lead the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in collaboration with the university’s existing support systems and in support of the university’s strategic plan to create a learning and working environment where all have an opportunity to succeed.

The executive officer for Diversity, Inclusion and Collaboration champions the importance and value of a diverse and inclusive university environment and develops effective strategies to create opportunities for collaboration around equity, diversity and inclusion across Stetson’s campuses. The position actively engages faculty, staff and students to further diversity, equity and inclusion.

“I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to continue supporting our Stetson University community and to promote our collective diversity, equity and inclusion efforts — both in DeLand and at the College of Law,” said Johnson. “The past and ongoing advocacy and expertise of so many throughout the Stetson community continues to inspire and lay the foundation for progress. I look forward to serving as a centralized resource toward this work and to promoting avenues for collaboration in partnership with the university’s leadership.”

“With the upcoming release of months of work by our community in addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are at a critical point in moving Stetson University forward,” said Christopher F. Roellke, PhD, president. “Carmen has impressed me with her leadership and advocacy, and her kindness and empathy, two qualities I believe are so important during these difficult times. I am pleased she is in this new position to help lead and organize the efforts with our communities in DeLand and at the College of Law. This creative and joint appointment provides a terrific opportunity to foster even greater collaboration between the College of Law and the DeLand campuses as we continue to build One Stetson.”

Stetson is continuing its work on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion following a recent Campus Climate Report, and soon-to-be-released reports from campus and community working groups organized during the 2020 academic year.

“Carmen’s numerous strengths, including her law degree, Title IX and diversity training, and her deep sense of collaboration, to name a few, make her the perfect choice to lead the university into the next stage of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts,” said Michèle Alexandre, dean of Stetson University College of Law. “I am confident Carmen will bring energy, excitement and collaboration across the campuses to move our inclusion work forward.”

Johnson joined Stetson’s College of Law in 2013 to fulfill her passion for higher education and the law, and most recently served as the director of Diversity Initiatives and Recruitment there. Prior to that, she was associate director for Admissions and Diversity Initiatives. In addition to being a Certified Diversity Professional, Johnson is the co-chair of the College of Law’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the university’s Stetson Culture Working Group, serves as a Title IX Investigator, and on the diversity and equity and inclusion leadership teams for Stetson. During her tenure at Stetson, Johnson has been awarded Employee of the Year (2019), Morale Builder of the Year (2017), the Dean’s Award (2016, 2021), and as a National Diversity Champion (2016).

Following her graduation from Stetson College of Law, Johnson worked in complex civil litigation and later served as a staff attorney with the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where she focused on criminal and postconviction matters. Prior to that, she was a contract attorney with Rutledge, Ecenia & Purnell, PA, a clinical intern in the Office of the Pinellas County Attorney and a judicial intern for The Honorable Amy Williams in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

Johnson is admitted to practice law in the state of Florida and has been appointed to the Florida Bar Association’s Education Law Committee as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition to previously serving as secretary of the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association, she is a past president of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers after serving terms as president-elect and secretary, and a two-year term as director of Continuing Legal Education.