Special Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion

Noma Anderson is special advisor to the president on diversity and inclusion, effective July 1, 2016. In this role, Anderson advises the president on strategic planning and decision-making for diversity and inclusion initiatives system-wide. She also serves as chair of the president’s Diversity Advisory Council (DAC), a post she has held since 2012.

Prior to her appointment as special advisor, Anderson served as dean of the UT Health Science Center College of Health Professions. At the time of her hire in 2010, she was the first African-American to have been named a dean in UT Health Science Center history. She continues to serve in a faculty capacity within the UT Health Science Center’s Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, dedicating half of her time to streamlining admissions, transfer and financial aid processes. The other half of her time is devoted to diversity.

Anderson’s 40-year career in higher education includes leadership and faculty positions at Florida International University in Miami, where she was chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, following serving as dean of the School of Health Sciences. Prior to that, Anderson chaired the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Among other notable appointments, she has served on the advisory board and advisory council of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health. In 2015, she received the Honors of the Association Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Anderson earned a doctoral degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in speech pathology from Emerson College in Boston. She earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia.

Anderson lives in Memphis with her husband, William, daughter and grandson. She is active in their church, St. George’s Episcopal. She is president of the Board of Trustees at Lausanne Collegiate School, a preparatory school in Memphis. She also is on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South.