Dear Colleagues,


I am honored to announce the official appointment of Elisa Diana Huerta (they/them/elle) as Associate Vice Chancellor for the Centers for Educational Justice & Community Engagement (AVC EJCE). Additionally, I am pleased to announce that Amber Johnson (they/them) is our new Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff (AVC COS). 

With over 15 years of experience in higher education, Elisa brings a unique set of skills and perspectives to this leadership position in the Division of Equity & Inclusion. They hold a Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz and bachelor's degrees from UT Austin. Throughout their professional and academic career, they have focused on intersectional practice, engaged pedagogy, and advancing and amplifying work that leads to sustainable and transformative change. Their work as the founding Director of the Multicultural Community Center (MCC) established it as a cornerstone program for UC Berkeley's work on justice, anti-oppression, thriving, and belonging.

In addition to their work at the MCC, Elisa has served in several roles at the broader campus level, including as a dynamic trainer and facilitator; convener and chair of campus-wide initiatives; and community liaison during critical incidents related to campus climate. Elisa’s approach to divisional and campus-wide work is strongly rooted in generative transformation, holistic stewardship, and creative possibility. 

Originally from California, Amber is an award-winning professor of communications and social justice, an associate provost, and co-founder and executive director of The Institute for Healing Justice & Equity at Saint Louis University. They are also the founding director of The Justice Fleet. Amber earned a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University in 2006, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication from St. Louis University in 2003 and 2001, respectively.

As AVC COS, Amber will play a vital role starting June 1, 2023, as a strategic advisor to senior leaders across the UC Berkeley campus. They will facilitate divisional initiatives and priorities; champion voices and perspectives that have been institutionally marginalized; and lead conversations that reimagine the processes of transforming our campus into a place of thriving and belonging. Amber is a dedicated, creative, and empathetic leader with experience in building and engaging teams, strategic storytelling and communications, and program implementation. 

I would like to extend deep gratitude to the search committees that led both selection processes in alignment with divisional and institutional values and priorities. In particular, I want to extend a special appreciation to Fabrizio (Fab) Mejia for serving as my interim Chief of Staff since October 2021. His leadership, dedication, and commitment have been invaluable to me, the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and our campus. I am forever grateful for his advice, care, and support in taking on this additional role - thank you Fab! 

Please join me in thanking Fab and welcoming Elisa and Amber to the Division of Equity & Inclusion. Their leadership comes at a critical time and I am excited to work alongside them.

In community,

Dania Matos


Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion

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