Carlos N. Medina Appointed Chief Diversity Officer for SUNY & Diversity Task Force Chair

April 18, 2014

Appointment Part of Continued Commitment to Advancing “Power of SUNY” Diversity Goals

Albany – State University of New York Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that Carlos N. Medina has been appointed as SUNY’s first chief diversity officer, and as chair of the statewide SUNY Task Force on Diversity.

As the first chief diversity officer at SUNY, Medina is one of only a handful to hold the position within higher education systems nationally. He is also senior associate vice chancellor for SUNY.

He will serve as chair of a new SUNY Task Force on Diversity charged with identifying new ways in which the system’s diversity can be increased to better reflect and be aligned with that New York State. Members of the task force, which was first announced in Chancellor Zimpher’s 2014 State of the University Address, will be named in the coming months.

“It is essential that SUNY reflect the diversity of the great state we serve, and Carlos is an exemplary leader who has the necessary knowledge and insight to gather the right team and help us reach that goal,” said Chairman McCall. “As a SUNY alum and a leader of our system’s diversity initiatives since their inception, Carlos is ideally suited to these new posts, and I look forward to seeing what he and the task force accomplish.”

“Infusing diversity into all that we do at SUNY is a core value of our strategic plan, one that Carlos has helped us achieve with great distinction over the years,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “I am highly confident that he will assemble the necessary experts and varied perspectives for the task force, and will continue to help us better serve all students by doubling down on our diversity initiatives and outreach.”

“SUNY nurtures communities, respects individuality, and embraces inclusion better than any system of higher education across the country,” said Medina. “Our investment in diversity programs through the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion celebrates the unique talents students and faculty bring to SUNY and provides opportunities for students to succeed in ever more diverse global environments and enterprises. This task force will help ensure that we continue our pledge to make ‘Diversity Count’ in the SUNY educational experience, and I thank Chairman McCall and Chancellor Zimpher for the opportunity.”

As a result of Medina’s leadership, SUNY has received the prestigious HEED Award for 2012 and 2013 from Insight into Diversity Magazine, one of the oldest and largest diversity periodicals to cover higher education nationally. The award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

About Carlos N. Medina

As SUNY associate provost and associate vice chancellor for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion since August 2011, Medina has led SUNY’s efforts in promoting and advancing the University’s diversity goals and ensuring that they are properly captured within all university policies and procedures. He provides leadership and strategic direction to SUNY campuses in connection with the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and administrators who come from groups within our society that are underrepresented in higher education and in SUNY. He has worked tirelessly to strengthen the intersections between diversity and academic excellence, including spearheading statewide STEM conferences in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Medina will continue to be directly responsible for overseeing the implementation and management of various programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels dedicated to serving underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students, faculty, and staff, and promoting inclusion, student success and excellence within the University. Immediately prior to serving in this position, Mr. Medina was the assistant provost and was instrumental in helping build the office’s portfolio of programs and overall capacity since its inception in 2007. He currently serves as regional representative for the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU); as system representative for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE); and represents SUNY in the joint effort of the National Association of System Heads (NASH) and the Education Trust in the Access to Success Initiative (A2S).

Mr. Medina has served as the director of Student Support Services for SUNY’s Center for Academic and Workforce Development, and he managed a $12.5 million budget as director of the Bridge Program (SUNY’s flagship Welfare-to-Work Initiative) and the “Financing Your Independence” Program. His work for the New York State Education Department from 1989 to 1997 included managing a host of teacher preparation, math and science enrichment (STEP & CSTEP), educational opportunity, and professional development programs across the state. In 1989, he served a one-year appointment as a Regent Management Fellow with the New York State Education Department. He has more than 25 years of progressive responsibility in state government and higher education with proven experience in leadership, management, and staff development.

Mr. Medina received the Mayor’s Community Development Service Award, City of Albany, in 1994; the Centro Civico of Amsterdam, NY “Honors Our Educational Advocate” Award in May 2012; the New York State Assembly Leadership and Community Service Citation in March 2013; and the Capital District YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program “Outstanding Black and Latino Achiever Award” in June 2013. He was featured in the September 2012 edition of Latino New York magazine for “Helping to Create Tomorrow’s Leaders from Today’s Students.”

He received his Bachelor of Science in Education from the SUNY Cortland, and a master’s in Human Services Administration from Cornell University. Mr. Medina is currently pursuing his doctorate in Education at St. John Fisher College and is expected to complete in August 2014. 

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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