Brian E. Gittens, EdD, MPA, has been named vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Gittens succeeds Billy Thomas, MD, MPH, a neonatologist in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, who was named UAMS’ first vice chancellor for diversity in 2011.
“As we continue to serve the healthcare needs of the state, we must be intentional and inclusive not only in the ways we provide care for our patients, but in the opportunities we create for faculty, staff, and students across all of UAMS,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, MD, MBA. “Brian has led systemic change in universities across the country, and he brings nearly three decades of experience to UAMS. I also want to thank Billy Thomas for his service as vice chancellor and his leadership and passion in ensuring that UAMS grows as a diverse and inclusive workplace.”
Gittens is a diversity and human resources professional, researcher, educator, and consultant who has led and collaborated on the design and implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies, community engagement programs, and cultural competency initiatives.
“I am humbled and excited to be a part of the great leadership team at UAMS,” Gittens said. “I look forward to collaborating and partnering with the faculty, staff, and students of UAMS as well as the community as we strategically advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
He joins UAMS from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he led efforts to advance equity and inclusion as the associate dean for human resources, equity, and inclusion. Prior to that, Gittens served as director of human resources for internal medicine and director of diversity initiatives at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has held positions at Wake Forest University, Virginia Tech, Elizabeth City State University, the U.S. Marine Corps, and founded a consulting firm specializing in organizational development.