Tamara Johnson

2023-24 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Tamara Johnson has over 20 years of experience in higher education and serves as the inaugural Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Harper College, located in Palatine, IL. In this role, she provides vision and leadership for the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across campus through working closely with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners. As a psychologist by training with a social justice lens, she makes every effort to address institutional barriers and develop the conditions, policies, and systems that maximize opportunities for all stakeholders to engage, excel, and thrive.

Prior to joining Harper College, Dr. Johnson held a number of prominent positions as an equity-minded leader, including: Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Adler University, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives at the University of Chicago, and Executive Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at Northwestern University. She also taught at Argosy University, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and Northwestern University. In addition to her experience in higher education, she was honored to serve the Department of Veterans Affairs as an organizational development consultant.

Dr. Johnson prioritizes service to the higher education community as a way of building our collective capacity to enhance student learning and success. Toward this end, she has delivered more than 50 professional conference presentations and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, member of the Preparing Future Faculty of Color Conference Advisory Committee, and Senior-Level Professionals Liaison for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Region IV-East.

Dr. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, an Ed.M. in human resources and a B.S. in psychology.