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Friday: Glenda Humiston, Jorge Silva and Cathy O’Sullivan to speak on EDI leadership

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Department, in partnership with Internal Communications, will host the first Leading Toward Equity event for 2024 this Friday, June 7, from 1–2 p.m. (PT). We will feature Glenda Humiston, vice president, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Jorge Silva, associate vice president, UCOP Communications. Cathy O’Sullivan, chief of staff for UC Operations, will moderate the conversation, which will take place via Zoom.

The Leading Toward Equity series presents unscripted conversations with UCOP leaders on EDI and our efforts toward becoming an anti-racist organization. The series’ central premise is that becoming an anti-racist organization is a journey that will take time and continual effort. No single group or office within UCOP is solely responsible for that journey or for advancing a culture of EDI at UCOP.

During these conversations, our leaders will share unvarnished truths about their personal experiences with EDI, their journeys of learning in this space and how they are leading efforts to further EDI and anti-racism efforts at our organization. It is a unique opportunity for staff to hear from our leaders while reflecting on our own experiences of discrimination, bias and privilege based on race, economic class or other dimensions.

We encourage staff to attend with the mindset of engaging with colleagues to think through how we can commit to shared accountability, move toward becoming an anti-racist organization and strengthen a culture of EDI throughout UCOP. Staff can engage directly with leaders by participating in the Zoom chat feature and asking questions during the second half of the session.

Join us

About our panelists

Glenda Humiston

Glenda Humiston

Glenda Humiston, Ph.D., is vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. She was born in California and raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado, where she was a member of 4-H. She came to UC ANR in Aug. 2015 with more than 25 years of experience in public policy development and program implementation supporting sustainability.

Before UC, Glenda served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, as executive director of a nonprofit organization advocating farmland preservation and value-added agriculture development, and as a consultant on environmental and agricultural issues throughout the West for several years.

She served President Clinton as deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1998 to 2001. She managed the Sustainable Development Institute at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in South Africa and the 2006 World Water Forum in Mexico City. In 2009, President Obama appointed Glenda to serve as the California State Director at the USDA, Rural Development.

She produced a widely acclaimed guidebook on “Access to Capital” and has led efforts to bring rural issues to the forefront of the state’s Economic Summit and policymakers throughout California.

Glenda earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in environmental science, policy and management with research focused on U.S. Farm Bill policy. She has a master’s degree in international agricultural development from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Colorado State University.

Jorge Silva

Jorge Silva

Jorge Silva is the associate vice president for communications at UCOP. He has more than 15 years of communications leadership experience in the federal government, nonprofit sector and national politics. Before joining UC, Jorge served as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, where he oversaw communications portfolios for human services and COVID-19 response.

Previously, Jorge served in the U.S. Senate as deputy chief of staff and communications advisor to Senator Jacky Rosen and senior advisor to Democratic Leader Senator Harry Reid. Jorge also served as vice president of communications for the Latino Victory Project and as national director for Hispanic media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Originally from Mexico, Jorge earned a law degree from the Western Institute of Technology and Advanced Studies (ITESO) in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a master’s degree in international policy studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.

Cathy O'Sullivan

Cathy O’Sullivan

Cathy O’Sullivan is the chief of staff to UC’s systemwide Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rachael Nava. In this role, Cathy serves as the senior advisor to the COO, directly overseeing UCOP’s Strategy and Program Management Office and various programs and functions to support the UC Operations division, which includes systemwide Information Technology, Human Resources, Strategy and Program Management, Operational Services (including UCPath and the local operations of UCOP), Community Safety and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She is also a liaison to the California State University and the California Community College systems, sharing best practices from all three segments of California public higher education.

Cathy previously directed UC’s Working Smarter Initiative, a portfolio of administrative efficiency projects and programs that delivered on its commitment to find $500 million in savings and new revenue over five years through systemwide innovations. In 2016, the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation, a national organization, named Cathy a Leader of Change.

Prior to UC, Cathy worked in the technology sector. She earned her MBA from UC Davis Graduate School of Management, and her bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.

Previous Leading Toward Equity events

Dec. 11, 2023: December recording | December summary
— Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California
— Jenny Kao, chief of staff to President Drake, President’s Executive Office
— Epiphanie Gillette, executive advisor, UC Legal (moderator)

Sept. 15, 2023: September recording | September summary
— Charlie Robinson, general counsel and senior vice president, Legal Affairs
— Marie Hairston, associate vice president of Systemwide HR Strategy and Staff EDIB
— Günter Waibel, associate vice provost and executive director at the California Digital Library (moderator)

May 10, 2023: May recording | May summary
— Rachael Nava, executive vice president and chief operating officer
— Paul Williams, associate vice president and chief procurement officer
— Shirley Bittlingmeier, executive director, IT Client Services, Information Technology Services (moderator)

Feb. 15, 2023: February recording | February summary
— Pamela Brown, vice president, Institutional Research and Academic Planning
— Van Williams, vice president, Information Technology Services, and chief information officer, UC
— Andenet Emiru, director of external partnerships and projects at the Center for Data-driven Insights and Innovation (moderator)

For questions, please contact or

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