Ainsley Thomas Named Chief Diversity Officer

February 16, 2017

Ainsley ThomasAinsley Thomas has been named the Chief Diversity Officer at Hudson Valley Community College.

Ainsley comes to the college from Albany County, where he has served as Director of Affirmative Action since 2013 and oversaw the county-wide development, implementation and monitoring of anti-discrimination, equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment and ADA compliance policies.

Thomas' duties on campus will be similar to his position at the county. He will oversee the college's efforts to help diversify its workforce and its student body through recruitment and retention. He also will be charged with helping to build and maintain programs and policies to support diversity, combat harassment and discrimination. This is a newly-created position at the college, which complies with the SUNY directive to create a chief diversity officer at each State University campus.

Earlier in his career, Thomas was employed in state government, working as a legislative analyst for the New York State Senate Majority Office, where he focused on higher education issues. He also was a certified teacher and taught social studies for seven years at Albany High School and Bishop Maginn High School.

Thomas is a graduate of LeMoyne College, where he received his bachelor's degree in political science. He received his M.A. in political science and education from the University at Albany. He serves on the advisory board for the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center and is a board member of the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission, a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates.


Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 85 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.

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