DGHI Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Diversity & Inclusion Committee logo

DGHI is committed to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in our community. We believe that we learn from each other and that we often learn the most from those who are different from ourselves. We also believe that diversity is a catalyst for new ideas and creativity. It is the nature of global health that we derive strength from our different perspectives, disciplines, and personal backgrounds as we build partnerships locally, nationally, and globally. Our faculty, staff, and students share a commitment to the mission and vision of DGHI.

DGHI strongly endorses Duke University’s position on diversity and inclusion:

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas – an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

The DGHI Committee on Diversity and Inclusion was established in 2013 to create a working and learning environment that embodies the mission and vision of DGHI. The committee includes representatives from our students, staff, faculty, and administrators.

Our Mission

To promote and uphold basic rights and values of equity, inclusivity, and mutual respect regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity or expression, ability status, profession, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status in the learning and working environment of DGHI and to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of all individuals to the overall mission of DGHI.

Our Vision

To create a community and a culture that is built on and promotes equity, collaboration, belonging, and mutual respect in our academics, research, and all other activities in line with the overall vision of DGHI.

Our Top Priorities

  • Promote awareness regarding Diversity & Inclusion Topics
  • Host events such as listening sessions, lecture series, and cultural events
  • Receive feedback from the DGHI and Duke communities on improvement




To find Duke events related to Diversity & Inclusion, go to the Duke Calendar

Duke University Events Calendar

Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community. Bell Hooks

Committee Members

Carla MenaCarla A. Mena

Bilingual Project Coordinator, Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research

Diversity is part of my everyday life, as I live in a bilingual and bicultural world. I am honored to be part of the DGHI Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The committee allows us to build a strong community, by sharing our professional and personal experiences to create a safe space for our students, faculty, staff, collaborators, and visitors. LEARN MORE

Heather Tunnell

Grants & Contracts Administrator

DGHI includes a diverse population spanning many cultures. My objective on the committee is to create an inclusive work culture that honors and celebrates all backgrounds and perspectives. Through education and communication, I will help facilitate change in our community and create an inclusive and respective workplace. LEARN MORE


Kimberly WalkerKimberly M. Walker

Associate Director, CHPIR / DGHI Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair

Diversity and inclusion means appreciating differences, such as, what makes a person unique, how their experiences have shaped their view of life, and how their culture affects how they maneuver through society then practicing acceptance so that we get closer to reaching a place of equity. LEARN MORE

Margaret LillieMargaret Lillie

Graduate, Master of Science in Global Health, Associate in Research, DGHI Evidence Lab

I hope to promote conversations that lead to action in order create a more engaged and inclusive community at DGHI. By promoting an inclusive and diverse environment we can allow space in which everyone feels welcome to tell their stories and share their knowledge.


Gavin YameyGavin Yamey

Professor of the Practice of Global Health and Public Policy

Duke faculty play many different roles—from teaching to leading research teams to hiring and mentoring junior staff. In every one of these roles, we have a tremendous opportunity (and a solemn responsibility) to prize diversity and inclusion. We are all enriched as a result.”. LEARN MORE

Sara LeGrandSara LeGrand

Assistant Research Professor of Global Health / DGHI Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair

I serve on the committee because diversity, inclusion and equity are deeply  important to me both personally and professionally. I am proud to work with other DGHI Diversity & Inclusion Committee members to continue efforts to make DGHI a more diverse and inclusive environment. LEARN MORE


Sarah Martin

DGHI Assistant Director for Graduate Admissions and Special Projects

I asked to serve on the DGHI Diversity and Inclusion Committee because community is important to me. I want to be an engaged member of my work community, and more importantly, I want to help create a supportive and connected environment for all global health students at Duke.  This committee connects me to larger discussions of inclusivity at Duke which directly informs my work with prospective and current students from diverse backgrounds. LEARN MORE

Shashika BandaraShashika Bandara

Graduate, Master of Science in Global Health, DGHI Research Assistant

I hope by being part of this committee, I can help to create an environment where everyone at DGHI can be comfortable regardless of the diverse background, origin, identity or opinion. I believe that creating such an environment will result in better performance at every level, a welcoming attitude for inclusivity, wonderful friendships and good times. LEARN MORE


Hy HuynhHy Huynh

Associate in Research, International Sector, Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research

Inclusion goes beyond promoting ideas of diversity and involves working towards systemic transformation so that people from all different and marginalized backgrounds feel welcome, supported, and valued. I serve on the committee because inclusion doesn’t just happen naturally. Inclusion involves a lot of intention and sustained effort from everyone in our community. LEARN MORE

Saumya SaoSaumya Sao

A.B. in Global Health and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist Studies

As students at DGHI, we learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion in academic considerations every day. I think it is important to extend that discussion to promote values of diversity and inclusion in the daily Duke community. I hope that by serving on this committee, I can help create a safe space of discussion among my peers, where we can celebrate and learn from our differences.


John MaddenJohn Madden

Major: Economics, Minor: Global Health

For me, diversity and inclusion are about leveraging personal stories as assets to build a better, more thoughtful community. It’s about building a community in which differences are prized and voices are heard. As a student with a disability, it’s about clearing the path forward for students to come.

Vivan ChenVivian Chen

Major: Neuroscience

Growing up a Third Culture Kid and as a student at a school like Duke, exposure to diverse thoughts, opinions and perspectives has largely shaped who I am. As a part of this committee, I hope to strengthen the sense of community at Duke, and improve relationships among students and faculty by celebrating our differences and finding commonalities that bring us together.


John BollingerJohn Bollinger

Student, Master of Science in Global Health

I wanted to join the the DGHI Diversity and Inclusion Committee to help create a more positive atmosphere for everyone associated with the Global Health department. I think that we have so much to learn from others, but we have a really hard time bridging the gap and making connections with people different from us.

Maya StephensMaya Stephens

Student, Master of Science in Global Health

As both a woman and person of color, I am a huge advocate for creating “seats at the table” through diversity and inclusion. Attending Duke as a graduate student and experiencing the Duke culture has exposed me to an array of intellectual and diverse perspectives that have been instrumental to my personal and professional development. It is my hope that through serving on this committee I can learn and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive environment not only within DGHI but at Duke as a whole. In turn, providing a more welcome and collective space for all.


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Or, email us directly at globalhealth@duke.edu.