Director of Equity to Join Faculty

Photo courtesy of Choate Rosemary Hall

Dr. Hinderlie will assume the position of Director of Equity and Inclusion.

Dr. Keith Hinderlie will join the community next fall as Choate’s first Director of Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Hinderlie has worked for over 20 years as an administrator and teacher at various schools, including Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. In the last decade, Dr. Hinderlie has promoted diversity and inclusion in schools across the United States.

Associate Headmaster Ms. Kathleen Wallace remarked that the school was seeking someone who had the training and expertise to serve as a Director of Equity and Inclusion. She said, “We wanted someone who had experience working with administrative teams and who could work with groups as different as the Admissions Office, the Dean of Faculty’s Office, and with the many student groups we have. We also wanted someone who could shape curricular and co-curricular initiatives designed to promote personal growth and academic excellence through authentic conversations about identity, equity, and social justice; someone who could effectively guide Choate to become an increasingly equitable and inclusive community.” Given his personal and professional experience in these issues, Choate ultimately decided to offer Dr. Hinderlie the job. 

According to Ms. Wallace, one of Dr. Hinderlie’s first actions when he arrives on campus will be meeting with several student groups, faculty, and staff. She commented, “Initially, I want him to listen, learn, observe, figure out our culture, figure out what it is we need, and what we can do better, and from there I would like him to set his goals accordingly.” Once Dr. Hinderlie becomes more familiar with the community and its members, Ms. Wallace hopes that he will decide for himself what goals should be set for greater equity and inclusion and plan how to realize those goals in a way that will work for the unique students, faculty, and staff at Choate. 

Ms. Libby Peard, Director of Parent Relations and International Students, as well as the chair of the Diversity Education Committee, noted the significance of this position for the school, commenting, “I think it speaks volumes about Choate’s commitment to being a fully inclusive community and by bringing in someone to be dedicated to the work, day in and day out. I hope this means we’ll make great progress in keeping the right conversations going, providing increased opportunities for education and training, and continued focus on curricular changes.” Ms. Peard added, “I think Choate has been appropriately careful and thoughtful in creating the Director of Equity and Inclusion position. It’s easy for a school to appoint someone to this position and feel like the work is done and that we’ve taken care of what we need to take care of. However, in creating this position, Dr. Curtis wanted to make sure that this would not become the work of just one person but that it would continue to be the work of the entire community.”

Ms. Wallace also remarked on the significance of this job, “It’s a recognition by the school of the need to have a senior administrative position, and therefore person, helping the rest of the school to address all sorts of issues having to do with equity and inclusion, to help us all understand these issues better, and to help us as an educational institution incorporate these topics into the curriculum, whether it is the academic curriculum or the extracurricular work we do.” She also added that Dr. Hinderlie’s arrival on campus will allow Choate to keep up with the times in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We are at a time in the life of the world, and in the life of this country where these issues are clearly pivotal, and people just need to understand them better,” she said.

The Choate Diversity Education Committee played the main role in creating the position that Dr. Hinderlie will be assuming in the upcoming school year. This committee includes several faculty members representing various departments at Choate. Last spring, the Diversity Education Committee sent a survey to the community assessing Choate’s diversity, allowing the group to gather information that could be used to propose a position for the Director of Equity and Inclusion.

The position was officially announced by Headmaster Dr. Alex Curtis in the winter of this academic year, and the school began looking for a person to fill the position shortly after. After publicizing the job offer on the Choate website and other areas, the school reviewed many resumes before interviewing the strongest candidates.

Ms. Peard commented, “Dr. Hinderlie will be coming in as the Director of Equity and Inclusion, but we hope he’s positioned in such a way that he will have all kinds of support from others in the community and will regularly interact with students, faculty, and staff.”

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