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National DEIA expert Dr. Tia Jackson-Truitt Appointed as Penn Museum’s Inaugural Chief Diversity Officer

March 15, 2022

Jill DiSanto, Public Relations Director


Photo of Dr. Tia Jackson-Truitt
Image: Dr. Tia Jackson-Truitt.

PHILADELPHIA—After a nationwide search, Dr. Tia Jackson-Truitt, a leading expert in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives, will join the Penn Museum as its inaugural Chief Diversity Officer. She will begin Monday, May 9, 2022.

With more than 11 years of progressive leadership roles at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, the largest and most diverse STEM institution in the country, Dr. Jackson-Truitt is well positioned to deepen relationship-building, enhance new strategic partnerships, and continue cultivating an inclusive workplace culture at the Penn Museum.

Most recently, she served as the inaugural Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Education and Training at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she provided over 60 sessions for 2,000 faculty, staff and students on topics like “Creating an Inclusive Campus Culture,” “Implicit Bias,” and “Best practices for equitable searches, hiring and promotions.”

Prior to that role, she implemented and expanded a range of recruitment and retention programs for diverse students as Associate Director of the Center for Engineering Education and Diversity; and served as the Principal Empowerment Officer of the GRIOT Employee Resource Group, where she provided community building and professional development programs for African American staff and their allies.

Dr. Jackson-Truitt states: “Penn is a national leader in diversity and inclusion, and that reputation will only be strengthened by a Chief Diversity Officer working in collaboration with neighboring communities, as well as other DEIA leaders across campus.” She continues: “My life’s work is guided by my favorite Nelson Mandela quote, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world,’ and I believe education is the key to true cultural transformation.

Dr. Jackson-Truitt is a 2003 alumna from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, where she earned a master's degree in social work. Before her work in academia, she worked with adolescents in Philadelphia, in community mental health in Delaware, and as a forensic social worker in Atlanta.

“As a proud Penn alumna, much of my knowledge, awareness, and duty to action was shaped during my time on campus as a graduate student in the School of Social Policy & Practice,” Dr. Jackson-Truitt says. As a Graduate Assistant in the W.E.B. DuBois College House, she emerged as an award-winning activist and campus leader.

Dr. Jackson-Truitt earned her Ph.D. in counseling and student personnel services from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware.

“Building on our critical work to create a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible Penn Museum culture for staff and visitors, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Jackson-Truitt back to Penn,” said Dr. Christopher Woods, Williams Director of the Penn Museum and Avalon Professor in the Humanities at Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences. “She brings an energy and passion for educating and empowering people to make positive cultural transformations—and she’ll continue to do that here to the benefit of our students, staff, and local community. Bringing Dr. Jackson-Truitt aboard is a major step in our rigorous efforts to create a museum that truly welcomes all.”


About the Penn Museum
The Penn Museum’s mission is to be a center for inquiry and the ongoing exploration of humanity for our University of Pennsylvania, regional, national, and global communities, following ethical standards and practices. Through conducting research, stewarding collections, creating learning opportunities, sharing stories, and creating experiences that expand access to archaeology and anthropology, the Museum builds empathy and connections across diverse cultures.

The Penn Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. It is open until 8:00 pm on first Wednesdays of the month through March. The Café is open Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-2:00 pm. For information, visit, call 215.898.4000, or follow @PennMuseum on social media.