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The primary charge of the WHOI CDEI is to aid the Institution in its efforts to recruit, retain and mentor a diverse community of employees, students and postdoctoral researchers and foster a culture of inclusion. Diversity is defined here as any race, ethnicity, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, or veteran status, which is a minority at WHOI. The CDEI reports to the CDEIO with the WHOI President/Director serving as executive sponsor and will:
  • Encourage and assist the Institution in its efforts to create pathways of opportunity to recruit, retain, and mentor a diverse Institution community
  • Connect the work of the committee with the institutional DEI vision, as laid out by the CDEIO, acting as a consultation and implementation arm of the DEI office
  • Promote two-way communication, feedback, and community building between grassroots activities and institutional leadership
  • Provide an open forum for discussion of issues concerning diversity, equity and inclusion within the institution
  • Sponsor periodic functions, activities and events to promote diversity, equity and inclusion at the Institution, the greater Woods Hole/Falmouth community, throughout the state, region, and country
  • Foster connectivity and promote common goals via liaisons to WHOI committees such as the Workplace Climate Committee, the WHOI Women’s Committee, and the WHOI International Committee; Woods Hole community groups such as GLOW, the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee and the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative; and through other entities throughout the state, region, and country. (Pooling resources for joint activities is encouraged)
  • Develop and maintain a WHOI CDEI website that highlights committee activities and diversity-related resources (including a webform and resultant database to curate a list of ongoing DEI and outreach activities and points of contact around the Institution)
  • Maintain full transparency with an eye toward providing leadership on these issues at WHOI and within the broader scientific community


The WHOI CDEI will report to the President and Director and the CDEIO. The Committee will be led by two co-chairs and shall consist of an additional eight (8) to twelve (12) regular members, representing multiple levels of scientific, technical, and support staff, students, and postdoctoral researchers. The membership selection process will ensure broad and diverse representation from different staff, student, and demographic categories as well as different grades of staff (scientific, technical, administrative, junior and senior staff, etc.). Members are expected to report back to their relevant constituents on CDEI activities. Additionally, the committee will include four permanent ex-officio members: the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Chief People Officer, Vice President of Advancement, and Vice President of Academic Programs and Dean (or their representatives).

Co-chair appointments will be presented by current chairs to the President and Director for approval. Committee members will serve two-year terms and member replacement is staggered.

Meetings and Reporting

The CDEI will:

  • Hold regular committee meetings with minutes posted online within 30 days of the meeting
  • Hold at least one community-wide open meeting per year to report out CDEI activities, gather input from the community, and discuss future DEI ideas and goals
  • Develop and utilize metrics for reviewing and evaluating committee priorities, goals, and activities every two years (or more frequently, as needed)
  • As needed, form ad hoc working groups that may include WHOI individuals not on the committee and may receive funding from the committee, at its discretion. Working groups will report their activities and progress to the full CDEI and the roster of working groups will be reviewed by the Chairs of the committee, in consultation with CDEIO, on a regular basis
  • Co-chairs will meet quarterly with the President and Director and CDEIO


The Committee for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI, later renamed to Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, CDEI) was formed in October of 2019 in order to provide recommendations to the Institution on how to be inclusive and make progress on recruiting and sustaining increased representation. The Co-Chairs originally reported to the Director and President on progress made and provided advice and feedback to the administration regarding further DEI initiatives. As of November 2022, the CDEI now reports these activities to both the CDEIO and President and Director.