Diversity and Inclusion Vice Chancellor Announces Plans to Step Down

Pam ConnellyPam Connelly, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, announced that she will be stepping down from her role in early January 2020. Connelly will return to the practice of law as a shareholder in the Pittsburgh law firm of Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky, where she will focus her practice on higher education law, litigation and employment law within the firm’s public, nonprofit and education practice group.

Connelly served as an associate general counsel at Pitt from 2002 to 2015, as litigation counsel and as legal counsel on a broad array of matters. In 2015, she stood up the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and has led initiatives of significant impact to Pitt, including spearheading policy change, developing new resources, increasing education and training programming and improving incident response protocols. During her leadership, ODI grew from four to 18 employees and has recently undergone a strategic reorganization that Connelly said will “create a platform for greater inclusion, education and prevention efforts.”

“It has been an honor to serve Pitt in this capacity. I am humbled by all that I have learned, and I’m proud of the dedicated and talented ODI team,” Connelly said. “This role is an incredible opportunity for the next leader. They will be blessed with strong support from leadership like [Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees] Kathy Humphrey and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and with a dedicated, innovative and talented team. I look forward to seeing what Pitt accomplishes next.”

“Pam has made profound contributions across the entire University in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Humphrey. “Her commitment and dedication to creating and sustaining a culture that embodies these values has been unwavering. I am grateful for her leadership and the impact she has made.”

A national search for Connelly’s replacement will commence soon.