Iessa J. Sutton

Iessa joined the Office of the Provost in August 2021, and is currently the Assistant Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. She is responsible for facilitating all aspects of office planning, development, and implementation necessary to successfully administer the university’s Faculty Diversity Initiative portfolio.

Prior to this role, Iessa worked in higher education as the Campus Operating Officer, at Berkeley College in New York and New Jersey, overseeing day-to-day operations, including finances, student enrollment and engagement, and community partnerships. She was among the first team of administrators at Berkeley to use predictive analytics to gain insights into developing pathways to degree completion for the College’s diverse student body. Additionally, Iessa was responsible for monitoring faculty and staff professional development and training programs.

In her role as Campus Operating Officer, Iessa established cross-functional partnerships with deans, faculty, campus academic liaisons, student development, administration, and campus operations to regularly assess and address students’ challenges and resource needs. Iessa’s collaborative approach resulted in high levels of faculty engagement in student initiatives, along with increases in student retention and degree completion among minority and underrepresented students.

As a committee member of Berkeley College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, Iessa led discussions on identifying essential resources to support students, staff, and faculty of color, and building awareness on ways to navigate inequities and misconceptions personally and professionally. 

Iessa brings extensive experience in the Performing Arts, having held management positions at The Harlem School of the Arts and The Juilliard School. She also served on the Board of Directors at the Theatre of Dance Movement Cultural Arts Academy.

Iessa earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clark Atlanta University, and a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix, where she is a doctoral candidate in higher education administration, Her research focuses on the experiences of African American women who hold senior leadership positions at ivy league schools, with a focus on resiliency and equity.