Reetta Gach and Bill Joyner

Diane Forbes Berthoud to introduce director and executive assistant in Feb. 9 town hall.

Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD, MA, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) inaugural chief equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) officer and vice president, has hired her team and plans to introduce them during a town hall Feb. 9 in which she will also discuss the University’s EDI efforts.

Both members of her team are familiar to many at UMB, having worked for the University for a combined 15 years. Bill Joyner, JD, MSW, has been hired to serve as the director of EDI and will start Jan. 18. Reetta Gach, MS, MBA, will begin her new role Jan. 3 as executive assistant to the chief EDI officer and vice president.

“I’m excited to welcome my inaugural team members who will work with me to advance institutional equity, diversity, inclusion, and accountability at UMB — to ensure that all members of the UMB community feel welcome and are able to thrive,” Forbes Berthoud said. “Together, I think they constitute the ‘Dream Team,’ and we look forward to partnering with the entire University to achieve our collective EDI goals.”

Joyner, who will report to Forbes Berthoud, will work on initiatives to advance priorities related to EDI strategic planning, implementation, and accountability. His duties will involve providing high-level assistance and advice to Forbes Berthoud to develop strategies, programs, and assessment protocols to help the University measure and achieve its EDI goals.    

“Bill Joyner brings a rich background in diversity strategic planning, assessment, and program and project management,” Forbes Berthoud said. “A former UMB employee with a proven track record of leadership and collaboration, he will be a tremendous asset to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.”

From 2014 to 2020, Joyner led strategic planning and performance management as the community engagement coordinator for UMB’s Office of Community Engagement and its Community Engagement Center. In his role leading local purchasing initiatives, he designed and managed the Community Merchant Access Program, which led to UMB increasing its food purchasing with businesses in West Baltimore owned by minorities, immigrants, and women. He also served as the first co-chair of the Institutional Equity Workgroup of the president’s Diversity Advisory Council. 

Joyner was honored with a Diversity Recognition Award for outstanding staff member in 2020 as part of UMB’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month Celebration. He was also recognized as a UMB Champion of Excellence as a student in 2015.

Most recently, he was the inaugural equity officer for the Baltimore Police Department, where he led a coalition of internal and external stakeholders who developed the department’s first Strategic Framework to Advance Equity. This first-of-its-kind strategy for a large law enforcement agency required buy-in and coordination from the Mayor’s Office, the police union, police commanders, and Defund the Police advocates. He managed the implementation of that strategy as well as structural changes in how the department engages the community amid police reform. This model is being replicated by police departments in at least five states.  

Joyner earned his law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2020, a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 2014, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2011. He is studying for his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, which he expects to complete in 2023.

Gach will provide high-level support to Forbes Berthoud and assist with the management of her office. Her duties will include project management, gathering and compiling material, and interpreting data to prepare administrative reports as well as drafting financial and budget reports.

“Reetta Gach is highly qualified and brings a wealth of experience in operations, event planning, and management,” Forbes Berthoud said. “I’m very much looking forward to having her as part of my team, and I’m confident the office will flourish with her support and management.”

Gach, who has worked at UMB since 2013, has most recently served as a senior program specialist at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, managing daily operations for the Center for Interprofessional Education. In that role, she collaborates with the director and co-directors to plan, develop, administer, and coordinate initiatives such as faculty development, funding opportunities, and student initiatives.

Gach previously was an events specialist for the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she planned high-profile events for the Office of Student Affairs such as Match Day and graduation. She also has worked for UMB’s Parking and Transportation Services and Office of University Counsel.

She earned a master’s degree in management with a specialization in project management in 2015 and an MBA in 2020, both from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore in 2012.

In addition to introducing her new team, Forbes Berthoud plans to update the University on other EDI topics during the February town hall. She will discuss strengthening the University’s EDI and data infrastructure; EDI capacity-building and development such as search committee training; and other equity-focused initiatives.

You can learn more about Forbes Berthoud and her initiatives in the latest issue of CATALYST magazine.

Look for more information about the town hall and how to register in future editions of the Elm Weekly newsletter.

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