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About the OVPECI

Denise O'Neil Green
Dr. Denise O’Neil Green, Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion

Dr. Green was appointed Ryerson’s inaugural Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion in 2017. She is a strategic leader with a deep-rooted passion for the advancement of diverse and inclusive university classrooms and campuses with over twenty-five years of academic and administrative experience in championing systemic change in the areas of higher education, access, equity and diversity in Canada and the United States.

After migrating to Canada from the United States in 2012, Dr. Green was appointed Ryerson’s inaugural Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Under her leadership, EDI was established. With thanks to Dr. Green, Ryerson has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for five consecutive years from 2014 to 2019. 

In 2018, she brought the White Privilege Conference (WPC) Global – Toronto to the campus, making it the first university to bring the full conference outside of the United States. The conference addressed the roles of privilege and oppression in Canadian society and was attended by over 600 delegates from across North America, including equity practitioners and members of the government and education sector. 

Dr. Green also convened the first University and Research Funding Agencies’ Equity Officers Roundtable in 2018. This was an opportunity for professionals from federal research funding agencies, university research professionals, academic leaders and equity practitioners to address strategies and greater alignment between universities and federal agencies with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion

From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Green was the Associate Vice-President for Institutional Diversity at Central Michigan University (CMU). During her service, she advanced diversity courses; developed a curriculum focused on diversity; spearheaded strategic diversity initiatives; secured $1.5 million in funding to serve first-generation students; opened the Center for Inclusion and Diversity; and worked with a variety of community groups, including the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, to develop local equity initiatives.

Dr. Green has authored/co-authored several journal articles and chapters on a variety of diversity-related topics. Recent publications include: 

  • Truth and Reconciliation at Ryerson University: Building a new foundation for generations to come community consultation summary report (2018)
  • Integrating equity, diversity and inclusion into the DNA of public universities: Reflections of a chief diversity officer (2018)
  • Diversity as disability, not deficit: An examination of the accessibility model at Ryerson University (2017) 
  • Leveraging new media as social capital for diversity officers: How equity, diversity, and inclusion professionals can use social media to foster equality (2016)

She is also the co-author of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women (2016 and 2018) and the Executive Editor of the The Institutional Diversity Blog, external link.

A sought-after keynote speaker, lecturer and mentor, Dr. Green is the recipient of several awards, including:

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education: Council on Ethnic Participation Founder’s Service Award (2017)
  • President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence (2017)
  • Pioneers for Change Award for Excellence in Women in Leadership (2016)

She was also named a Woman Worth Watching by the Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2015.

Dr. Green’s holds:

  • a bachelor’s degree earned in behavioral science from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
  • a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton School of Public and International Affairs 
  • a PhD in higher education and public policy from the School of Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor