Meet Cloe Liparini – The Newest Member of the University Office for Diversity & Inclusion Team
The University Office for Diversity & Inclusion started the new year off right with the new Director of Education, Community Engagement and Belonging, Cloe Liparini (she/her) assuming her new role on January 4, 2021.
Ms. Liparini is not new to the Triangle (more on that later!), and she had a wonderfully vibrant life prior to moving to Durham in 2003 and during her time away from North Carolina before joining UNC. Growing up in Verona, Italy, the child of a Catholic Italian father and a Jewish American mother, she was plunged into an alternate world at the age of five when her mother announced a desire to give her a deeper connection with the American side of her family and learn English. The family landed in Evanston, Illinois, a town just outside of Chicago that boasted a racially and culturally diverse community. “The nature of my background and lived experience made me acutely aware of difference from a very young age. I was very conscious of when I was in an inclusive and open environment versus one in which people were excluded, navigating micro-aggressions and/or bias.”
Ms. Liparini went on to attend Bard College, where she studied cultural anthropology focusing on how women’s social mobilization and political engagement. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from the School for International Training Graduate Institute. She exercised her commitment to social justice and cultural humility through the variety of positions she held, including volunteering for Amigos de las Americas in the Dominican Republic, serving as an Americorps VISTA member in Brooklyn, NY, serving as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia as well working as an International Development Fellow with Catholic Relief Services in Armenia. Upon reflection, she said, “[w]ith each new experience, I deepened my understanding of social identity and power dynamics, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, systemic inequality and structural racism, and understood the importance and impact of social action for justice and inclusion.”
Over the years, Ms. Liparini’s professional journey has evolved as a trainer, consultant, strategist, and curriculum designer leading and managing international and multicultural teams through organizational change that leverages diversity, inclusion and cultural humility. Most recently, she was worked with the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, which is an initiative of Partners in Health. There, she served as the Senior Advisor for Leadership Development Programs and as a lecturer where in addition to her facilitation work, she leveraged her expertise to support the development of student services, community engagement, and alumni relations. During her five-year tenure, her teaching focused on inclusive leadership, effective team development and change management where she worked with masters-level students as well as with executives. Within executive education, she worked with both high-level ministerial health leaders and NGO executives to support them translate their technical skills into effective, high-performing teams using an equity lens.
Prior to working with UGHE, Ms. Liparini was the Associate Director for the Geneva-based Policy and Governance Program for Duke University where she worked with United Nations entities as well as advised graduate students and postdocs. Coming back to her experience in the Triangle, Ms. Liparini served as the Assistant Director for Training and Student Development for Duke University’s DukeEngage Program, which is an annual service-learning initiative in which 500+ undergraduates participate in service projects all over the world. In this important role, she oversaw and co-designed student’s pre-departure trainings and worked with faculty to assist them in helping those young people unpack their service experience and deepen their self-awareness, understanding of inclusion and systems of oppression. In her first role at Duke, Ms. Liparini was in student affairs at International House where she involved with student services and advising as well as developing their cultural competency and humility training programs. Ms. Liparini also developed the signature Intercultural Competency Certificate Program for staff, faculty and administrators.
Throughout all her positions, she maintained her focus as a trainer, facilitator, and strategist that has allowed her to successfully lead change throughout the world. When asked about how she feels about her new role, she said, “I am incredibly excited to be joining the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion and UNC at this time and in light of the challenging but necessary work that must be done. A large part of my role will focus on ensuring that we leverage and amplify the wonderful work already occurring on campus and strategically launching new training initiatives that not only develop skills and knowledge but also connect directly to the implementation of policies, practices and procedures that foster a sense of belonging through systems and culture change at Carolina.”
Benvenuta, Cloe! Piacere averti con noi (Glad to have you on board)!