Enobong (Anna) Branch

Photo by Nick Romanenko for Rutgers University

Dr. Enobong (Anna) Branch, associate professor of sociology, was the first associate chancellor for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at UMass Amherst. She was appointed to this role in August 2017. Currently she is the senior vice president for equity at Rutgers University. 

Branch joined the UMass sociology department in 2007 as a postdoctoral fellow and was appointed an assistant professor in 2008. She was promoted to associate professor in 2013. She is also a faculty associate in the department of women, gender, sexuality studies. Her research focuses on race and gender, work and occupations, and diversity in science.

In 2014, Branch founded the sociology department’s civility and equity committee, which she chaired through 2015. A survey of faculty and graduate students was conducted to identify issues and concerns faced in the department, on campus and in the Pioneer Valley community. A subsequent report produced 11 recommendations and was the subject of an all-department discussion of concerns raised and how best to respond to them.

Branch also co-chaired the Social Science Advisory Board of the National Center for Women in Information Technology from 2013-15, and in 2011 was the team leader for “Supporting Faculty of Color through Tenure and Beyond,” a Mellon Mutual Mentoring Inter-Institutional Grant with Mount Holyoke College supported by UMass Amherst’s Center for Teaching and Faculty Development. The initiative sought to provide junior faculty of color with the resources they need to build successful careers and thrive at their respective schools. The program later expanded to include the other Five College members.

Branch then served as the chancellor’s faculty advisor for diversity and inclusive excellence before being appointed as associate chancellor for equity and inclusion. Her significant accomplishments in that role included leading the integration of diversity throughout the campus strategic plan, executing the university’s campus climate survey, creating diversity infrastructure through climate advisors in executive areas and diversity officers in schools and colleges, and leading the National Science Foundation funded ADVANCE program pursuing innovative organizational change strategies to spur institutional transformation and support racial and gender equity in the faculty ranks. 

She is the coauthor of Black in America: The Paradox of the Color Line (2020), the editor of Pathways, Potholes, and the Persistence of Women in Science: Reconsidering the Pipeline (2016), and the author of Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work (2011). A sought-after national expert on diversity in the academy, Branch serves on several advisory boards that aim to advance inclusive excellence within professional societies, the National Academies, the Association of American Universities and more. Dr. Branch received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University at Albany, SUNY and her B.S. in biology from Howard University. 

Read More about Anna Branch at Rutgers