vanessa gonzález-peréz, phd

Associate Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Vanessa González-Pérez (she|her|ella) identifies as a Latina, scientist, service leader, mentor, and a fierce advocate for the accessibility and success of historically underrepresented scholars in STEM. Currently, she is the inaugural Associate Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gonzalez-Perez pursued her bachelor’s at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, followed by a post-baccalaureate experience at the National Institutes of Health. Committed to her interests in biomedical research, she completed a doctoral degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also pursued postdoctoral positions at North Carolina Central University and UNC-CH and worked as an Assistant Research Professor for the School of Pharmacy at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington. Most recently, she served Princeton University’s graduate school, as the inaugural Assistant Dean for Access, Diversity and Inclusion, where she supported STEM academic departments. Given her intersecting identities as a first-gen and low-income scholar, a woman of color in STEM and in higher education administration, she is aware of the outstanding gaps in the training experience and career success of scholars from historically underrepresented and non-traditional backgrounds. Hence, she uses her scientific training and expertise in higher education to explore complex academic leadership structures and support the development of frameworks to improve recruitment, advocacy, mentorship, allyship and retention. She often volunteers her expertise by supporting regional and national organizations some of which include: the National Postdoctoral Association, McNair Scholars Program, American Physical Society, National Research Mentoring Network, GEM, Puerto Rico Sciences, Technology and Research Trust, the Society for Hispanics and Professional Engineers (SHPE), SACNAS, ABRCMS, the Intersections Science Fellows Symposium, the Leadership Alliance, among others. Vanessa stands for service leadership, mentoring, and promoting accessibility. She enjoys listening, learning, and interacting with students, administrators, and faculty from educational institutions and organizations throughout the nation. Altogether, her upbringing, motivations, and sense of urgency to create transformational changes, fuel her dedication to paving the way for future generations of scholars in higher education and professional programs. | ︎ @vgppr | ♪ @drvgp