by Pam Zubeck
The Air Force Academy announced today that Dr. Adis Maria Vila will become the academy's chief diversity officer.
We reported her appointment last week, but now it's official, and the academy has released additional information about her and her role.
According to a news release, Vila will serve as the strategic leader, diversity advocate and principal adviser on diversity programs and issues and the academy's primary voice on matters of equity, diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Vila's responsibilities in the CDO role will include working with Congress on diversity issues, promoting institutional and classroom diversity and uniting diversity efforts around the Academy to increase various agencies' effectiveness.
“To achieve its mission, the USAFA must insist that diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence be at the core of its organizational culture imbedded in its organizational strategies. Leadership at all levels must be visibly committed, foster development, and define success” stated Dr. Vila.
“Stakeholders must be confident that the Academy’s commitment to inclusion is a way of life not a program for those engaged in HR, OD, training, and certainly not the responsibility of consultants. Inclusive policies and behavior fall on everyone entrusted with the development of USAFA cadets into military leaders of character and integrity. It is with enthusiasm that I accept General Gould’s invitation to join the Academy’s senior leadership,” she added.
Dr. Vila will also implement the Academy Diversity Plan, which Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould signed into effect shortly after taking command in June 2009. The diversity plan highlights the importance of exposing cadets to a broad range of ideas and experiences, including not only racial, gender or ethnic diversity but also diversity of life experience, language abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age and geographic, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.
Dr. Vila is a native of Cuba and a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., (BA in Mathematics) , Chicago Booth (MBA), the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development (Geneva, Switzerland, LLM equiv. International Law), and the University of Florida Levin College of Law (JD). While a scholar in residence at Rollins College, she taught international business law and ethics in business and lectured on leadership, corporate governance, ethics management, U.S.-Latin American relations, regulatory policy, infrastructure and foreign direct investment. She speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Dr. Vila's federal government experience includes positions as the assistant secretary of administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, director for the Department of Commerce's Office of Mexico and the Caribbean Basin and special assistant to the assistant secretary for Latin American Affairs at the State Department. She first came to Washington DC as a White House Fellow, the premier leadership development program in the United States. At the state level, she served as Secretary (Agency Head) of Florida’s Department of Administration, a department with a $750 million budget and 500 employees.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Dr. Vila named to this crucial position, and look forward to her coming on board and building her staff and office within the next several months,” General Gould said. “Her experiences and background will bring a tremendous focus never seen at USAFA, and serve our mission of producing leaders of character for our Air Force for many years to come.”