Ulysses J. Smith

Ulysses J. Smith is the lead diversity and inclusion strategist and Title IX coordinator for Analytics and Reporting at Cornell University. He is responsible for overseeing the university's diversity and inclusion strategy, including the advancement of the university's Toward New Destinations (TND) initiative; leading the reporting bias system; and determining and implementing other programs, initiatives, and policy or practice modifications in support of creating a more diverse and inclusive campus. Smith also assists with compliance matters as they pertain to protected status and underrepresented groups, and helps develop strategic priorities for the university.

Smith is keenly interested in and skilled at creating and implementing organizational diversity strategies for fostering inclusive environments. Much of his work is centered on participatory governance structures and creating access to institutions and decision-making processes for underserved and underrepresented groups — an interest that was initially sparked by the research and teaching of Professor John Forester in CRP. Smith works closely with the shared governance groups at Cornell to create effective and inclusive university policies and brings focus to strategies for engaging underrepresented groups in the governance process.

As a student, Smith served as president of the Student Assembly and chair of the Employee Assembly during the 2016–17 term. But he credits AAP for the development of the skills he needed to navigate complex institutions and governance structures, in particular, Professor John Forester for illuminating career opportunities outside of the confines of SimCity. Learning about the various policy processes and the social dynamics of planning taught Smith how to start asking a different set of critical questions.

"AAP is the smallest college with the greatest impact," says Smith. "The flexibility of the degree program, the passionate guidance of the faculty in CRP, and the opportunity to pursue a concurrent degree with Arts and Sciences really made all the difference for me," he says.

Smith holds a B.S. in urban and regional studies from AAP and a B.A. in government from the College of Arts and Sciences, with minors in education, and law and society. In the future, he wants to focus on civil rights and public interest law, and to ultimately be seated as a federal judge.