Mariam Lam Named Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

September 9, 2020
Kim A. Wilcox
September 9, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mariam Lam as UC Riverside’s first Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Recently approved by University of California President Michael Drake, Lam’s appointment is consistent with Chief Diversity Officer positions at many other UC campuses, and reflects that an inclusive campus community is an essential core value at UCR.

While UCR has long been recognized nationally for its diversity, achievements in social mobility, and ethnic and gender programs, we recognize the need to both elevate and expand our institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is just one step in that process.


The elevation of this role has been under consideration for quite some time. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused historic disruptions in the university’s operations, it also has further revealed inequities across higher education – and reinforced the urgency for us to do better.

As UCR’s senior leader responsible for overseeing efforts to create a more inclusive institution, Lam will continue working across the campus to implement a vision that goes beyond diversity and works toward a campus climate of mutual respect and communal vision.

She will also serve on UCR’s executive team and advise me and other campus leaders on critical decisions affecting our students, faculty, staff, and extended communities.

Lam’s commitment to UCR has spanned nearly two decades and she has been affiliated with the University of California for nearly her entire academic career. 

She has served as the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer at UCR since 2016, Chair of the UC systemwide Council of Chief Diversity Officers since 2018, and as a member of the faculty since 2002 in the department of Comparative Literature and Languages. 

As a faculty member, Lam has served as Vice Chair of the Academic Senate; Chair of the UCR Committee on Committees and systemwide University Committee on Committees member; Executive Committee member in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and in several other systemwide roles.

She was founding co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies and founding editorial board member of Boom: A Journal of California, both for University of California Press, served as Director of Graduate Studies and Admissions Advisor for the Comparative Literature and Southeast Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Research programs, and was Director of the Southeast Asian Studies Program. Her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees are from UC Irvine.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Lam on her appointment and in doing our part to advance the vision of a truly inclusive campus climate.