Announced December 16, 2022

We recognize that diversity, equity and inclusion not only hold intrinsic value, but also enhance our excellence. As individuals and collectively, we are at our best in an environment where everyone is welcomed, valued and celebrated as their most authentic selves. At the same time, we are aware of and concerned about elements of the culture here at Washington University School of Medicine that can lead to a negative climate for women, people of color and other vulnerable and marginalized members of our community

To address those concerns fully, with transparency and accountability, the Washington University School of Medicine Executive Faculty voted unanimously in December 2022 to convene the Task Force on Climate and Culture. This task force was charged with identifying underlying aspects of the culture that can lead to a negative climate.

The Executive Faculty Task Force on Climate and Culture completed its work in December 2023 with the release of two reports: one from Catalyst, a consulting group with expertise in workplace inclusion, and the second from the Executive Faculty Task Force itself.

Jump to a section below for more about the Executive Faculty Task Force on Climate and Culture:


As a Task Force, we will develop a report that documents areas for improvement and proposes action items to enhance our culture. This work will focus specifically on the challenges that are particular to our medical school academic environment, with the following charges:

  • Gather data and assess the current state of resources for addressing and preventing sexual harassment and gender discrimination among faculty, students and trainees.
  • Develop recommendations for improving faculty and learner education and training regarding sexual harassment and gender discrimination. This will include raising awareness of existing policies; clarifying reporting obligations and channels; improving training on bystander intervention; and recommendations regarding how best to address problematic behavior and its impact on others.
  • Develop recommendations for improving the reporting process and ensuring accountability in instances of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and misconduct.
  • Develop recommendations for improving overall workplace culture at the School of Medicine to ensure that all members of our community are safe and supported in their work and studies.


The Executive Faculty Task Force on Climate and Culture originates at the highest levels of leadership and is fully supported by Washington University and the School of Medicine. Membership is broadly inclusive, with representatives from faculty, house staff, and students.


Benjamin A. Garcia, PhD
Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished Professor and head of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Dineo Khabele, MD
Mitchell & Elaine Yanow Professor and head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Administrative Director

Renée Shellhaas, MD, MS
Associate dean for faculty promotions and career development and David T. Blasingame Professor of Neurology

Support: Kaitlyn Hamilton
Executive assistant to associate dean for faculty promotions and career development

Student representatives

  • Doctoral degree programs:
    Jennifer Lawrence, PhD candidate
  • Postdoctoral programs:
    Aishwarya Rajesh, PhD, postdoctoral research associate, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Department of Radiology
  • Medical degree program:
    Christina Su, MD candidate

House staff representative

  • Kai Jones, MD, clinical fellow, Department of Medicine (SAFE Committee) 

DEI Liaison representative

  • Rosie Jones, MPPA, senior project manager, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy representative

  • Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD, MSOT, OTR/L, associate dean and director of the Program in Occupational Therapy, Elias Michael Professor of Occupational Therapy, professor of neurology 

Hospital representative

  • Shaina Eckhouse, MD, associate professor of surgery

Faculty representatives

  • Professor, clinical department (also AWN/FWIMS):
    Rakhee Bhayani, MD, professor of medicine
  • Professor, preclinical department:
    Kendall Blumer, PhD, professor of cell biology and physiology
  • Assistant professor, preclinical department:
    Kilannin Krysiak, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and immunology
  • Professor, clinical department:
    Barbara Warner, MD, professor of pediatrics; chief, Division of Newborn Medicine, F. Sessions Cole, MD, Chair in Newborn Medicine
  • Executive Committee of the Faculty Council:
    Gregory Wu, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and of pathology and immunology

Additional contributors

Community discussion facilitators

The Task Force would like to thank the following individuals for their time, expertise and attention in planning, facilitating and summarizing the community discussion sessions. The sessions were facilitated using a restorative justice approach to acknowledge harm and support healing. Facilitators include staff of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as members of the volunteer Restorative Justice in Academic Medicine team and Equity Champions program.

  • Joel Dalton
    Program Manager, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Erin Herrera, CRNA
    Associate Vice Chair for Well-Being and Assistant Director for CRNA Activities, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Sha Niece Hinton, MSW
    Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Engagement Coordinator, Department of Orthopedics
  • Rosie Jones
    Senior Project Manager, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Julian Magee, PT, DPT, ATC
    Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Assistant Professor, Program in Physical Therapy
    Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Maithilee Menezes, MD
    Associate Professor and Officer of Diversity & Inclusion, Department of Otolaryngology
  • Peter S. Myers, PhD
    Program Manager, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Neha Navsaria, PhD
    Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Andrea Nelson, MBA
    Director of HR Organization Development, Office of Human Resources
  • Jeramia Ory, PhD
    DEI Education Specialist, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Joseph Pangelinan, MA, PhD
    Director of Cultural Awareness and Diversity and Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Kaytlin Reedy-Rogier, MSW
    Director of Health Equity and Justice, Department of Medicine
  • Erin Stampp
    Director of Programming and Professional Development, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Lisa Stevenson, MBA
    Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Engagement, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Nannette Vaughn
    Senior Human Resources Consultant, Office of Human Resources
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team


MARCH 2023
• Data Review
• Community Discussion Sessions

APRIL 2023
• External Consultant Launch Session

APRIL – MAY 2023
• 1:1 Leader Interviews
• Focus Groups
• Community Discussion Sessio

JUNE 2023
• Catalyst Inclusion Accelerator Survey

• External consultant to report findings to Task Force

AUG – SEPT 2023
• Consultant and Task Force Strategy Meetings

SEPT – DEC 2023
• Task Force to Complete Report