Mercedes Ramírez Fernández
Mercedes Ramírez Fernández serves as the Richard Feldman Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Rochester. She was recruited in 2019 to open the University’s inaugural Office of Equity and Inclusion and to serve as the institution’s first chief diversity officer. As a member of the president’s executive team, Mercedes is an influential voice at senior leadership, cabinet, and executive committee meetings, where she advocates for policy and decision-making decisions through a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most recently, Mercedes served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Affairs and Diversity at Virginia Tech. In that capacity, she developed and supported innovative programs and policies relevant to diversity and inclusion across campus. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration in diversity, inclusion and equity, student academic affairs, and program development. Mercedes earned a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Counseling and Human Development from the University of Iowa, and a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Spanish Literature from the University of Puerto Rico.