Dr. Deanna L. Yameen was appointed Interim Provost of Lesley University in July 2023.
Dr. Yameen originally joined Lesley University as the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Social Sciences in July 2022; she has dedicated over three decades to creating inclusive spaces in higher education focused on supporting the development of women and people of color so that they can work for social change. Dr. Yameen, with a doctorate from The Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, two Masters’ Degrees from The Heller School and the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Bachelor’s and Associate’s Degree from Bradford College, is a nationally and regionally recognized leader in higher education, transformational leadership, and the inclusion and mentoring of a diverse cadre of future leaders.
Dr. Yameen was named the Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Massasoit College in 2019 where she guided Academic & Student Affairs through the three-pronged crises of an international pandemic, racial tensions, and an economic downturn. Her ability to prioritize people's health and safety while focusing on the success and support of under-resourced students moved the college toward a series of remote innovations that provided high quality instruction and services by bringing resources to faculty and staff while keeping the college community safe. This was accomplished through trust and the support of a diverse and committed leadership team.
Her career includes working to include student, faculty and staff voices in institutional planning and policy to create more just and responsive institutions that encourage individuals to recognize themselves as protagonists. Her experience has been based on her commitment to serve, ability to foster dialogue and dedication to collaboration in service to positive change and social justice.
Since her participation in the HERS Leadership Institute, she has continued her support of women leaders in higher education by becoming involved in various ways including sponsoring the participation of her colleagues; serving as a faculty in residence and as a program associate; participating in a series of panels and presenting with HERS staff at a national conference. She also served as an advisor to the Director of Programs on HERS’ Dream Team.
A series of national invitations and nominations show clear evidence that Dr. Yameen is valued as a national leader. These include a nomination and invitation to participate in the Future President's Institute of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); a nomination to serve as a Commissioner on AACC's College and Career Readiness Commission; her invitation to serve as a panelist at AACC and The American Association of School Administrators/The Superintendents Association's joint convening on College and Career Readiness.
Due to her clear commitment to equity and social justice, she is often sought out for her expertise and perspective including accepting an invitation as a judge for the Council for Advancement's (CASE) international awards. She received Phi Theta Kappa's 2020 Distinguished College Administrator Award as a result of being nominated by Massasoit's students. She has been a regular speaker at HERS and the Center for Collaborative Leadership at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she serves as a Senior Fellow.
Her invitations include the opportunity to address the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education on the topic of Early College due to her expertise of the transformational change that equity-minded Early College efforts bring to a community. She was invited to co-chair the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's New Undergraduate Experience Student Ready Colleges & Universities Committee as part of the effort to create a new guiding document for Massachusetts Public Higher Education: The New Undergraduate Experience in Massachusetts Public Higher Education: Dismantling Barriers, Recognizing Students' Cultural Wealth, and Advancing Racial Equity.
A Massachusetts native, Dr. Yameen remains dedicated to creating a more just Commonwealth.