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LEAD Fund Mourns the Passing of Board Chair, Scholar and DEI Advocate Dr. Christopher A. Metzler

Dr. Christopher Metzler

Dr. Christopher Metzler

Dr. Metzler was an icon of the DEI Movement and spearheaded the Creation of Diversity Management Education for Academic Institutions and Corporations

As a scholar, leader, and DEI champion, Dr. Chris Metzler continuously illuminated our path toward a more inclusive future in which all voices are welcomed and valued.”
— Dr. Edna Chun, LEAD Fund Vice President
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, April 2, 2024 / -- The Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund), a national not-for-profit organization styled as a “Think and Do Tank,” mourns the sudden passing of its Board Chair and leader Dr. Christopher A. Metzler. The family of Dr. Metzler announced that he “passed away in his beloved home in Grenada, on Saturday, March 23rd.” Dr. Edna Chun, the LEAD Fund’s Vice Chair stated: “As a scholar, leader, and DEI champion, Dr. Chris Metzler continuously illuminated our path toward a more inclusive future in which all voices are welcomed and valued. As Chair of the LEAD Fund, his knowledgeable advocacy and inspiring perspectives provided essential guidance in our work.” LEAD Fund Board Member Dr. Beverly Magda added: “Dr. Christopher Metzler, a beacon of insight and advocacy in diversity, equity, and inclusion, leaves behind a legacy of profound impact and unwavering commitment to building a more just society. His wisdom and compassion will be dearly missed but forever cherished.”

Founded in 2014, the LEAD Fund was established to provide thought leadership in promoting inclusive organizations and institutions through research and education on issues related to diversity, social responsibility, human and civil rights. A 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, the Fund complements the work of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) through programs and activities that address a range of concerns, including affirmative action, equal opportunity, equity, access, civil rights, and diversity and inclusion in education, employment, business and contracting. The LEAD Fund places a special emphasis on the emerging demographics in the United States in all of its work. In 2022, the Fund joined AAAED in filing a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief in support of the universities’ admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Metzler was one of the earliest members of the LEAD Fund Board. He was a graduate of Columbia University in New York in International Human Rights and the University of Oxford in England with a major in Human Rights Law. Dr. Metzler was a member of The University of Oxford and Kellogg College at Oxford. His doctorates were from Aberdeen. Dr. Metzler created the first certification in DEI in the nation at Cornell University, where he was a faculty member in DEI, Law and related disciplines. He also launched the Master’s degree in H.R. and Diversity, Systems Engineering, Sports Industry Management, Emergency and Disaster Management, Technology Management, Urban and Regional Planning and The Executive Diversity Management Certificate at Georgetown. He served on the faculties of Cornell, Georgetown, Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine, Bellarmine University, Kings College and others. Dr. Metzler was also a Senior Fellow at The Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine, served on the faculty of The Jossor Institute in Qatar and was an educational advisor for The World Cup 2022. Dr. Metzler co-created the Diversity Management Program for AAAED.

Shirley J. Wilcher, MA, JD, CAAP, LEAD Fund President and CEO, stated: “We deeply mourn the absence of Dr. Metzler. He was a dear friend and mentor. He was ahead of his time in understanding that the ‘benefits [of diversity] are not theoretical but real’, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor once wrote in Grutter v. Bollinger.” Wilcher added: “Dr. Metzler was at the forefront in the movement to forge a corporate and higher education workforce reflecting the diversity of skills, talents and ideas that would make our nation a symbol of excellence both domestically and internationally.” He was able to cross party lines and was a talented entrepreneur, skillfully communicating with members of the news media and corporate leaders as well as the civil rights and academic communities. Chris, you will be sorely missed.”

Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund)
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 200 * Washington, D.C. 20006
202-349-9855 * 866-562-2233 * Fax: 202-355-1399 *

Shirley J Wilcher Fund for Leadership
Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access, and Diversity
+1 202-349-9855
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