Kathleen Wong(Lau), Ph.D. Named University Diversity Officer

Dear Cal State East Bay community,

I am pleased to announce that Kathleen Wong(Lau) has accepted the position as Cal State East Bay’s incoming University Diversity Officer. She will join us January 17, 2023.

Dr. Wong(Lau) currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at San Josė State University, a Cabinet-level position she has held for the last six-and-a-half years as the campus’ inaugural Chief Diversity Officer. Prior to this she served as the Executive Director of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE). She was concurrently the director of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies at the University of Oklahoma where she taught the doctoral seminar on Diversity in Higher Education. Dr. Wong(Lau) served as a researcher in the University of Michigan Multiversity Intergroup Dialogue grant funded project and was an intercultural communication/diversity consultant for Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, Purdue and the University of Florida. She taught as an assistant professor, Intercultural Communication, Gender and Communication Group Decision-Making, Conflict Management and a capstone course on Diversity and Organizational Communication at Western Michigan University.

As we spoke during her interview process, I learned about Dr. Wong(Lau)’s experiences building and supporting sustained DEIJ and anti-racism strategies, vision, and research-based and community-informed practices that support systemic and cultural change within organizations. She lives in the East Bay (where, like me, she grew up) and has first-hand knowledge of the complexities of our local communities’ issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

She is a proud Cal State East Bay (Hayward) alumna who received her bachelor’s degree as an older returning first generation student in speech communication and completed graduate work and her Ph.D. in intercultural communication at Arizona State University.  

The University Diversity Officer is a critical position for our university community and I am grateful that so many students, faculty and staff participated in the recruitment process. Special thanks goes to the members of the search committee for their roles in this important effort: co-chairs Bal Kumar and Rob Williams, Ashmita Ahluwalia, Andrea Arauza Rivera, James Carroll, Christina Chin-Newman, Sarah Dutchover, Tu Ngo and Asha Rao.

Dr. Wong(Lau)’s leadership and experience will be central to the ways we create actionable efforts to uphold the university’s values of equity, justice, belonging, integrity and respect. Please join me in welcoming her home to Cal State East Bay.

With warm regards,

Cathy Sandeen


Dec. 16, 2022