Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman appointed Pamela Nolan Young as the Town’s first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), subject to review by the Town Council. Mr. Bockelman has referred this appointment to the Town Council for approval in accordance with the Amherst Home Rule Charter.
Pamela Nolan Young, M.Ed., J.D. brings an outstanding work history to Amherst in her role as the Town’s first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has been a DEI practitioner for over twenty years and offers a broad range of skills and talents to the position.
Until recently, Ms. Young served as the Director of Academic Diversity and Inclusion at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, serving as the first person in that role. At Notre Dame, Ms. Young’s work centered on coordination of diversity initiatives, training and development, faculty and graduate student recruitment and retention, and communications.
Prior to that, Ms. Young served as the Director of Institutional Diversity and Equity at Smith College in Northampton. There, she administered the school’s affirmative action plan, maintained oversight of diversity and equity policies, served as chair of the President’s Diversity Council, and supervised the Office of Disability Services.
Ms. Young is an attorney who practiced in the Hampden County District Attorney’s office and brings municipal experience as the Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Springfield. She also brings experience as a Human Resources Director at North Shore Community College in Danvers.
Ms. Young earned her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and her law degree at Notre Dame University. She also holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Salem State University.
Town Manager Paul Bockelman stated, “I am thrilled to have someone of Ms. Young’s caliber and experience on board to guide our efforts to create a more just, diverse, and equitable Town. The creation of two new Town Departments – DEI and the CRESS community responders – is a significant investment in addressing one of the Town’s major goals.”
Ms. Young said of her new role, "Like many towns that have created Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion positions, the Town of Amherst has an amazing opportunity ahead. Opportunity in this instance also means challenge. We should remember that fortune favors the brave. I look forward to assisting Town residents, officials, employees, and business and community leaders in meeting the challenges ahead as the Town of Amherst advances to become the community it desires to be."
Ms. Young has direct and multiple experiences in building DEI programs. She has initiated and developed DEI strategic plans, developed DEI data collection systems, provided training, and has presented at numerous events and conferences throughout the country. She also maintains a consulting practice.
Ms. Young has held national leadership positions as a member of a task force for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She also serves on the Board of Directors of InterAction Initiative, Inc., an organization whose work is rooted in Critical Race Theory’s understanding of counter-narratives and intersectionality and which promotes the sharing the narratives of people of color.
Town Manager Bockelman thanked the members of the DEI Director Screening Committee. The Committee was chaired by Human Resources Director Donna-Rae Kenneally and included Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek, Fire Chief Tim Nelson, Amherst Public Schools Director of Student Services Marta Guevara, and Janeen Mantin, Director of Prevention and Education at Hampshire College. Doreen Cunningham, Amherst Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Diversity, Equity, and Human Resources also assisted the Town Manager with interviewing the finalists.
Ms. Young is anticipated to start in her role on July 1st.