Custom Class: header-search-container

Custom Class: header-search-close

Or Explore Suggested Pages

Custom Class: header-search-button

Custom Class: header-menu-button

Research & Consulting Team

To design, lead, and implement this initiative, Brentwood School has retained a neutral third party, the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation (CSDLSI), based in Atlanta, Georgia. Unaffiliated with the school, the Center specializes in DEI social climate research and strategy as well as organizational research and change.

Mission and Approach

Founded in 2009 by Dr. Damon A. Williams, the Center’s mission is to empower leaders across all sectors with the strategies, tools, and resources required to advance the shared and ongoing work of creating more inclusive environments and communities. Our Inclusive Excellence approach focuses on leading institution-wide DEI change efforts. The Center works to strengthen organizational infrastructure and develop strategic planning capabilities by adhering to the Center’s principles, which include always beginning with “why” and using questions to guide its approach to developing project methodology, applying culturally relevant approaches, and searching for and curating excellence—always working to reapply the best solutions.

CSDLSI specializes in:

  • Social Climate and Culture Research and Evaluation, such as organizational climate and culture research, campus climate studies with mass survey instrument development and administration, comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analysis, and formal written evaluations with detailed recommendations.
  • Organizational Change Management and Strategic Planning Consultation, including leading organizational redesign and change management efforts; designing vertical and lateral diversity organizational structures; developing diversity planning and accountability strategies; establishing strategic faculty and staff hiring and retention programs.
  • Professional Development and Training Programs (both in person and online) designed to focus on capability building, strategic diversity leadership development, and current DEI research and best practices.

CSDLSI Areas of Expertise:

  • Effective program design
  • Executive education, coaching, and leadership development
  • Anti-racism education, racial healing, and equity programming
  • Microaggressions, unconscious bias, and stereotype threat
  • Developing diverse leadership initiatives for students, faculty, and administrators
  • Designing Intergroup Dialogue programs
  • Building vertical and lateral diversity management structures
  • Conducting organizational climate and culture research
  • DEI capacity building, cultural competency, and intelligence development
  • DEI crisis management and effective response consulting
  • Diversity planning, strategic planning, and implementation
  • Establishing strategic faculty and staff hiring and retention programs
  • Fostering success in STEM for underrepresented students
  • Leading organizational redesign and change management efforts
  • Retention and active success initiatives in education
  • Working with faculty regarding the infusion of diversity into the curriculum

Meet the Team...

Dr. Damon A. Williams

Serving as the center’s Chief Catalyst, Dr. Williams is an award-winning scholar, educator, speaker, strategist, consultant, and social-impact leader with over 22 years of experience working with more than 1,000 colleges and universities, schools, health care organizations, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies. 

Dr. Williams is the author of the best-selling books Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education and The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management. He is one of the original architects of the Inclusive Excellence concept in American higher education. 

Dr. Williams previously served as Senior Vice President for Programs, Training and Youth Development at Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s National Headquarters. Prior to that, he served as the Associate Vice Chancellor, Vice Provost and CDO at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Williams was honored as the youngest and the first Black recipient of his boarding school’s highest honor for leadership and service, Western Reserve Academy's Waring Prize of Leadership. To learn more about Dr. Williams and the work of the Center, please visit

Research & Strategy Associates

The Operations Team

Deiadra Gardner
National Director, Operations and Outreach

Akshay Agrawal
Research and Strategy Associate 

Dr. Katie Schwartz
Director, Operations and Outreach

Sharon Lim
Research and Strategy Assistant 

Lauretta Rosado
Executive Assistant

Daria Astara
Director of Narrative

With questions, please contact