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Dan’Talisha Deans joins Pitt’s Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement in a new director role

Deans in a red blazer with her arms crossed

The University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement has named Dan’Talisha Deans (SOC WK ’12G) its inaugural director of development for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).

In the new position, her core responsibility is to facilitate fundraising and programming that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion at Pitt and within the communities the institution serves. Additionally, she will be a content expert and thought leader on general DEIB engagement.

She returns to Pitt after experience as the management director for The White House’s Presidential Personnel Office under the Obama administration, where she fostered retention and connectivity for presidential appointees nationwide through leadership programs.

She also spent more than three years with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in two different roles: Presidential Management Fellow and a management analyst. There, she oversaw agency policy, program development and implementation to drive outcomes, including improved performance management and employee engagement. Deans is also an adjunct professor at Howard University’s School of Social Work.

Deans received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University before earning her master’s degree from Pitt with a concentration in community organizing and social administration. While at Pitt, she also worked in the Center on Race and Social Problems as a project and research coordinator.

Deans said she hopes the role will enable her to be a positive force, cultivate change and support growth in individuals, organizations and communities. 

“My motto in life is to be impact driven,” said Deans. “What better way to give to my alma mater than to serve in this inaugural role as a thought partner and leader in the DEIB space? I come to this role with the intention to listen, learn, evaluate, create, implement and drive change that will be long-lasting and impactful.”