Clinton Hill

Pratt Institute names vice president for diversity

April 10, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Nsombi B. Ricketts, the incoming vice president, officially starts her new job on July 5. Photo courtesy of Pratt Institute
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With an eye toward making its campus more inclusive, Pratt Institute has named Nsombi B. Ricketts as its new vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, officials announced this week.

Ricketts, who will begin her new job on July 5, will report directly to Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet.

Ricketts will serve as the senior administrator responsible for implementing the school’s Diversity Strategy Plan, a program developed with input from students, faculty members and staff members. The plan was finalized in December. 

The components of the plan include creating a welcoming atmosphere on campus, recruiting a diverse student body, hiring a diverse staff, and expanding the school’s mission to the surrounding community, according to Pratt Institute officials.   

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Pratt Institute, a four-year private college, is located at 200 Willoughby Ave. in Clinton Hill.

“We are very pleased to announce Nsombi B. Ricketts as the vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Pratt Institute,” President Frances Bronet said in a statement. “Social justice and equity are fundamental to the institute’s mission, and Nsombi is the ideal person to ensure that our campus climate embodies a culture where everyone feels included and inspired to learn and create compelling work.” 

The appointment of Ricketts came after a search conducted by a committee that included administrators, faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students, Pratt officials said. 

Ricketts said she is looking forward to getting to work. 

“I have dedicated my life’s work to being an advocate for diverse populations by improving access, equity, and inclusion at several organizations,” Ricketts stated. “I look forward to joining the Pratt community in this inaugural role, and it will be my priority to foster an environment that welcomes and respects diverse perspectives, values, ideas, backgrounds and beliefs.”

Ricketts has a great deal of experience promoting diversity and inclusion on college campuses.

Before joining Pratt Institute, Ricketts served as the assistant provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Prior to Northwestern, Ricketts was the senior director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Ricketts came to the world of academia from corporate America, having served as an executive in marketing at American Express for several years. 

She earned her Bachelor of Science in education and social policy from Northwestern University and her Master’s of Business Administration from Goizueta Business School at Emory University as a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow.

Ricketts received a Global Multicultural Leader Award and the Consortium 10 Year Anniversary Alumni Award from Goizueta Business School.

For decades, colleges and universities across the U.S. have dedicated resources toward the goal of increasing diversity on their campuses. But it is only in recent years that campuses have hired diversity officers and have made those diversity officers a permanent part of the administration of the college or university, according to a 2015 article published on the website

The article can be found at 

Pratt Institute formed a Diversity Committee in 2010 to explore ways to improve diversity on its campus. 

The committee came up with several ideas on how to improve life for students, including a Diversity Advocate program, in which more than 50 people undergo training to serve as advocates within their departments and organizations on issues of diversity and inclusion. 

Another initiative of the Diversity Committee was the establishment of the Center for Equity and Inclusion, a space for students interested in coming together to address problems both on an off-campus. The center is run by the assistant director of Student Affairs for Equity and Inclusion.


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