Muskegon Community College has named Kenneth James its chief diversity officer, a newly created position.
James will begin his role on Sept. 20, when he will be tasked with implementing practices and establishing resources that promote inclusion of individuals of all racial and ethnic identities, ages, nationalities, social and economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religious, political and ideological perspectives and physical and mental abilities.
“Ken James is a highly skilled and experienced DEI professional,” said MCC President Dale K. Nesbary. “He will add tremendous value to the college and our region. We are fortunate to have his talents back in Muskegon.”
“The role of chief diversity officer will be a driving force in supporting MCC’s constituents in attaining their individual, community and global needs,” James said. “My goal will be to continue supporting the existing efforts that promote inclusion for all, by building on successes and addressing any challenges that may arise.”
James has decades of experience leading DEI programs and initiatives for numerous organizations, municipalities and educational and health care institutions.
He was the director of inclusion and talent development program manager for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He spent over four years at Spectrum Health where he was a senior recruiter and senior learning advisor.
The California native was the assistant vice president for affirmative action at Grand Valley State University, after he served as the director for management learning and development at Hackley Hospital between 2006 and 2008. For more than eight years, James was the affirmative action director for the city of Muskegon.
“Over my professional career I have striven for and continually supported the betterment of organizations, by initiating and maintaining dialogue of underserved and mainstream populations in whatever role I was in,” he said. “The experience I have gained from my time working with the business community, municipal governments, health care systems, nonprofits and higher education have allowed me to see multiple facets on approaches to building consensus while providing me with the knowledge to navigate any barriers to teamwork.”