Lawson, Martinez named to enhance diversity initiatives

Cheri Lawson

Cheri Lawson

Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez

Photos: Denise Applewhite  

Two new administrators have joined the Princeton staff to enhance the University's diversity-related initiatives.

Cheri Lawson has been named director for equal opportunity programs in the Office of the Provost, and Robert Martinez has been appointed manager of diversity and inclusion in the Office of Human Resources.

The new positions were approved last year by President Shirley M. Tilghman in response to recommendations by the University's Diversity Working Group intended to make Princeton a more diverse and supportive workplace for people of all backgrounds.

Lawson will report to Terri Harris Reed, whose promotion to vice provost for institutional equity and diversity also was approved last year. Lawson will lead efforts to support the University's commitment to faculty and staff diversity through affirmative action compliance and training activities. She will be responsible for developing the University's affirmative action plans and for coordinating and implementing equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action policies, initiatives and programs in accordance with laws and guidelines.

Lawson has worked for three years as an equal opportunity specialist for Home Depot USA, advising regional officers, directors and managers on employment law issues. She also served for five years as an in-house staff attorney for the New York City Board of Education. In addition, she has worked in private practice as a labor and employment attorney. For the last three years, she has had her own practice in Princeton.

A graduate of Long Island University, Lawson earned her law degree from Fordham University.

"We are pleased that Cheri has agreed to join our staff," said Reed. "Her experience dealing with employment law issues and building trusting relationships across boundaries made her the top candidate. Her former colleagues and supervisors agree that she is a skilled attorney, adept administrator, team player and, maybe most importantly, a spectacular person."

Martinez will be responsible for managing and guiding efforts to conceptualize, define, assess, nurture and cultivate diversity as an institutional commitment and to bridge the multiple constituencies that make up the Princeton community. These efforts will include practices to address issues of retention and recruitment of a diverse staff, among many other initiatives.

Martinez came to Princeton from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he had been a recruitment/diversity specialist since 2002. He also served as an outreach specialist on MIT's Diversity Management Team. Previously, Martinez worked at United Parcel Service as a recruitment supervisor and at WBTS Inc. as a consultant in training and development.

He is a graduate of Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y.

"Robert brings great experience and a fresh approach to the issues of retention and recruitment to the University," said Lianne Sullivan-Crowley, vice president for human resources. "He is a great addition to the team of human resources professionals dedicated to diversity and inclusion in our workforce."