Quade French, Ph.D. (he/him)

Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Quade French is the Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer of USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.  As a clinical psychologist, he centers relationship-building and perspective-taking as foundational to any systemic change.

He guides leadership, faculty, staff, and students to emphasize humility over hubris in the pursuit of equity, curiosity over certainty as they work to build an inclusive community, and courage over fear to cultivate a positive culture at USC Dornsife.

He is a licensed clinical psychologist and has served as adjunct faculty in the USC Rossier School of Education.  He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where his research focused on the racial and ethnic identity development of transracially adopted people as well as the study of adoptive family systems; he maintains an active role with the adoption community.

Contact: diversity@dornsife.usc.edu

Shakira Holt, Ph.D. (she/her)

Assistant Dean

Dr. Shakira Holt is the Assistant Dean for the USC Dornsife Office of DEIB . In this role, she works out her persistent notions of community, which involve making room for diverse humanities, meeting needs, and identifying and removing impediments to individual and collective success.

She oversees the day-to-day internal and external function of the DEIB Office and its staff, striving to ensure high-quality service and support to the College in its advancement of a culture of belonging. Her priority is this office’s contribution to learning and working environments that are as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as they are influential.

She completed her Master’s and PhD in English at the University of Southern California, and is thus a graduate of Dornsife. Her studies here, centering the intellectualism of 20th century Black women, allowed her to explore the intersections and implications that shape human experience and identity. These concerns continue to inspire her passion and work.

Contact: diversity@dornsife.usc.edu

Disha Mahendro, M. Ed. (she/her)

Assistant Director

Disha Mahendro is the Director of Diversity Initiatives and Community Relations of USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. In her role, she is critical in bringing equitable and inclusive proposals to actions. She comes to this work able to lead using one of her greatest strengths–creating ambitious partnerships that enhance collective wellbeing and shared respect.

Her values are put into motion by creating a people first environment that amplifies underrepresented voices. She is focused on designing settings where individuals can comfortably express every facet of their identity to encourage a collaborative work space. 

A graduate of Washington & Jefferson College (BA in Business Administration and Spanish) and of USC Rossier (Masters in Educational Counseling), she is excited to have reached the final phase of her Ed.D. at USC Rossier and is actively completing her dissertation, centered on the wellbeing of women of color in middle management in higher education.

Contact: diversity@dornsife.usc.edu