Kimalee Dickerson Joins School of Government Faculty as DEI Expert

UNC MPA faculty member Kimalee Dickerson appears photographed

The School of Government is excited to welcome Kimalee Dickerson into its faculty as the newest member of the management, administration, and leadership division.

As an assistant professor of public leadership, Dickerson will primarily work with two constituencies to advise and instruct on issues relating to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): the public officials who serve North Carolina’s communities and the School’s Master of Public Administration students.

Dickerson brings a wealth of applied research experience to her professorship, having published and presented on many aspects of equity in public administration, including organizational climate for diversity, antiracism and equity policies in public schools, and equity in water quality.

For Dickerson, the study of these issues is rooted in a desire to serve communities that are often underresourced. Her public service career, she says, is largely dedicated to bridging these opportunity gaps.

“Throughout my career, I have been drawn to opportunities to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of others, particularly those in historically marginalized communities,” Dickerson said.

“Having worked in government and education, I have seen firsthand the importance and impact of public service. I am particularly drawn to the opportunity to influence social change through public service, such as changing how policies and programs are administered to create more equitable conditions.”

In addition to her expertise in DEI issues, Dickerson specializes in community- engaged and participatory action research and adolescent and adult development.

Dickerson earned an undergraduate degree in psychology & sociology and Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. In addition, she holds a Juris Doctor degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the School, she served as a postdoctoral researcher with the UVA School of Education and Human Development and Equity Center.

With extensive research and experience in law, public policy, social science, and education, Dickerson is hopeful she can use her time at the School to bring awareness to DEI issues, use research and analysis to explore them, support stakeholders interested in changing policies and practices, and promote accountability.