TiShaunda McPherson

Senior Associate Vice President for Equity

Company: Northwestern University Office of Equity
Role: Session Presenter

2022 Conference Session: A Trio of Higher Education Initiatives: Cultural Competence, Inclusive Leadership, and Anti-Racism (S5-G)

TiShaunda McPherson is an accomplished civil rights professional with 20 years of experience addressing institutional, regional, and systemic discrimination in higher education and employment settings. She has served in numerous positions, including roles as a researcher, attorney, compliance professional, and equity officer, each of which strengthen her understanding and bold leadership in the areas of equity and access. TiShaunda has a demonstrated commitment to ensuring a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment in which all members are treated with dignity and respect, and are provided access to resources that enable them to thrive.

As Northwestern University’s senior associate vice president for Equity, TiShaunda oversees the Office of Equity, which leads the University in fostering a culture of access, belonging, and accountability. To advance its mission, the Office of Equity focuses on three primary targets. The first is creating, reviewing, and implementing programs and policies to reinforce an equitable learning and working environment. The next is responding to reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, including sexual misconduct, and providing support and resources to individuals impacted by the behaviors leading to reports. The final is facilitating education and outreach initiatives to ensure individual and University-wide awareness and development of strategic processes for combating discriminatory treatment and practices. Together, these efforts help cultivate a community in which all members are valued.

Prior to joining Northwestern University, TiShaunda served as employment counsel and director of Regulatory Compliance, Equity and Access at Adtalem Global Education; senior attorney for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights; litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons US LLP); and law clerk to the Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., who currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

TiShaunda earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, and Juris Doctor from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She also holds a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

In addition to her professional career, TiShaunda is an active volunteer in her surrounding communities and has served on several nonprofit boards. She is an ordained minister and mentor to underrepresented youth and young adults with a particular focus on developing confident leaders who maintain a healthy self-awareness. TiShaunda is married with two children and enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family.

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