Nefertiti Walker Named Interim Associate Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UMass Amherst

Nefertiti Walker
Nefertiti Walker

AMHERST, Mass. – Nefertiti Walker, a faculty member in the Isenberg School of Management who also serves as its associate dean for an inclusive organization, has been named interim associate chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy.

Walker will begin her new role effective July 1. She succeeds Enobong “Anna” Branch, who recently became the vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion and community engagement at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. A national search to select a permanent appointment will commence soon.

Walker has served in her current position at Isenberg since January, after holding the position of director of diversity and inclusion at Isenberg from 2017 to 2018. She joined the UMass Amherst community in 2011.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Chancellor Subbaswamy and serving UMass Amherst in this role,” Walker said. “The collective work that we have done in Isenberg in the areas of diversity and inclusion at the student, staff, faculty, alumni and community levels has prepared me for this role. I have admired the work of Associate Chancellor and Professor Anna Branch and her incredibly productive team. As such, I enthusiastically look forward to joining them, as we continue the always evolving mission of building a diverse culture of equity and inclusion, rooted in dignity and respect.”

“I am pleased that Nefertiti Walker has agreed to accept this important role,” said Subbaswamy. “As we move forward as a community, her leadership experience will be invaluable as we continue the vital work of building an inclusive and diverse campus where all our community members can thrive.”

Serving as a member of Isenberg’s senior leadership, Walker focused on developing a culture of inclusion through a new diversity and inclusion curriculum, a school-wide inclusion committee, student organizations focused on diversity, and the development of an Inclusive Leadership Summit, all of which were done “in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff,” said Walker.

Walker also serves as an associate professor in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management and as a faculty member in the MBA program. Her research interests are rooted in the experiences of marginalized and underrepresented identities in the workplace and developing inclusive organizational cultures. Walker’s work includes more than 50 international publications and presentations, and she has been published in top journals such as the Journal of Sport Management and the Journal of Business Research. She is a research fellow with the North American Society for Sport Management. She has been awarded the 2017-18 Isenberg School of Management Teaching Excellence Award and the 2018-19 Isenberg School of Management Research Excellence Award.

She currently serves on the ESPN espnW College Advisory Panel and is a faculty advisor for the Advancement of Diversity in Business. Previous leadership roles include UMass Athletic Council member, co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the North American Society for Sport Management, faculty advisor for the Association of Diversity in Sport, member of the UMass Amherst Stonewall Center Advisory Board, and vice president for inclusion and social justice for the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports. Her work has been mentioned on espn.com, espnW.com, TIME Sports, and other sport news outlets.

Walker earned her Ph.D. in sport management from the University of Florida. She received her bachelor’s and master’s (MBA) degrees from Stetson University, where she was a Division I NCAA student athlete and worked as an assistant women’s basketball coach.