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Leadership Changes at NYU Metro Center

David Kirkland sits for a portrait in his office

Early this week, NYU Steinhardt announced that our Executive Director, Dr. David E. Kirkland, will begin his new role as Steinhardt’s inaugural Vice Dean of Equity, Belonging and Community Action. In this new role, Dr. Kirkland will continue his work and support of NYU Metro Center as he expands his vision and impact throughout Steinhardt and the rest of NYU. We look forward to the great work Dr. Kirkland will continue to do with us and the broader Steinhardt community.

Since beginning his tenure as executive director for NYU Metro Center in July 2015, Dr. Kirkland has shaped NYU Metro Center into a national powerhouse, deepening the center’s focus and impact on issues of equity in education and beyond. 

  • In his first three years, Dr. Kirkland tripled the center’s operating and programmatic budgets. 
  • He created NYU Metro Center’s first Center for Community Organizing and Engagement to forge strategic partnerships with community leaders and other stakeholders, shaping NYU Metro Center into a space that fully serves the interests of the people. 
  • He expanded NYU Metro Center’s research thumbprint, elevating the quality and rigor of our science while holding onto the spirit and consciousness of our work. This deepening of our research has led to numerous relationships with some of the most sought after yet competitive funding agencies such IES, NSF, U.S. DOE, U.S. Department of Justice, WT Grant Foundation, Ford Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Gates Foundation, among many others. 
  • He secured Voices in Urban Education, a rigorous, peer-reviewed, education journal, to bring the voices of the people into conversations about education justice.
  • He increased the volume of NYU Metro Center’s publications by 66%.
  • He created and managed one of the most racially representative work environments in all of NYU.
  • He created a humanizing culture of excellence, where team members experience dignity and their work as valued members of a community brought together around the goal of advancing equity.
  • He hired more womxn, womxn of color, and gender-expansive femmes into leadership positions than 99% of all units at NYU.
  • He has led with clarity and intention, with integrity and purpose, has mentored many and has inspired more.        

His leadership has been the beacon light not only for NYU Metro Center, but for all of NYU and for communities around the U.S. searching for hope. Dr. Kirkland has been our champion. Therefore, we wish Dr. Kirkland well as he transitions into his new position, where we are confident he will continue his efforts to advance equity and transform education. His inspirational presence will be felt.

During his transition, Dr. Kirkland will retain his role as executive director of NYU Metro Center indefinitely until his replacement is selected. To support him, he has appointed a core leadership team to create a system of distributive leadership and participatory decision-making that will ultimately move our center forward. Future announcements of those leaders will follow in the coming weeks.