Health system chief diversity officers: who are they and what do they do?

Academic Article


  • The Chief Diversity Officer, or CDO, is an increasingly common leadership role within U.S. health care delivery systems. Very little is known about the CDO role across hospitals and health systems. To map the responsibilities and characteristics of how CDOs are positioned within health care, we first searched the web pages of health systems to identify which systems have CDOs, or what we call “CDO-equivalents.” Second, we expanded the search of public documents to new-hire announcements and the online social/professional media site, LinkedIn, to identify information regarding each identified leader’s roles and responsibilities. Finally, text from these documents describing the leader’s roles was uploaded to Atlas.ti, a qualitative analytic software, to identify common themes. There were 60 diversity leaders among 359 U.S. health care systems. Seven consistent roles and responsibilities were identified reflecting a very broad scope of work. Future research should focus on exploring the scope of this leadership role.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hogan TH; Stevens L; Hefner JL; Lemak CH