Chief Inclusion Officer
Dr. Karl W. Reid was appointed Senior Vice Provost and Chief Inclusion Officer at Northeastern University on April 1, 2021. He also holds the title of Professor of Practice in the Graduate School of Education in the College of Professional Studies. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Reid served for seven years as the Executive Director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), marking his return to the organization that gave him his first major leadership experience 32 years earlier. A certified diversity professional, Dr. Reid has been a leading national advocate for diversity and inclusion, and increasing college access, opportunity, and success for low-income and BIPOC youth. As Director of the Engineering PLUS Alliance, he leads an NSF-funded national effort to achieve transformative, systemic, and sustainable change in representation of engineering. He is the author of “Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College…and Life.” Dr. Reid is also a founding member of the 50K Coalition, a national effort to produce 50,000 diverse engineering graduates annually by 2025.
Dr. Reid came to NSBE from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), where he oversaw new program development, research, and capacity building for the organization’s 37 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and held the title of Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation and
Member College Engagement. Before his service at UNCF, he worked in positions of progressive responsibility to increase diversity at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which he left as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Director of the Office of Minority Education. While working at MIT as Director of Engineering Outreach Programs, Dr. Reid earned his Doctor of Education degree at Harvard University. His dissertation explored the interrelationship of race, identity, and academic achievement for African American males in college.
Dr. Reid was born in the Bronx, New York, and grew up in Roosevelt, New York, a mostly working-class, African American community on Long Island. The high value his parents placed on education, and his admission to a well-resourced magnet high school near Roosevelt, put him on a track to follow his older brother to MIT, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Materials Science and Engineering and was a Tau Beta Pi Scholar.
After graduating from MIT, Dr. Reid worked in the computer industry for 12 years in systems engineering, product management, sales, and consulting. In 1991, five years into a successful career with the IBM Corporation, Dr. Reid read Jonathan Kozol’s “Savage Inequalities,” a seminal book about educational disparities in the U.S., which sparked his passion for bringing about positive change through education of African Americans and other underserved populations.
Dr. Reid sits on the National Council for Inclusive Innovation at the US Patent and Trademark Office; the Advisory Board of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Research Institute; the Committee on Advancing Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEMM Organizations and the Board on Behavior, Social, and Sensory Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). He also serves on the boards of Saga Education and the Peake Fellowship Program. Dr. Reid previously served on the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) Advisory Council; the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) Industrial Leaders Council; the NASEM Committee on Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Technology; deans’ advisory cabinets for the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the University of Michigan College of Engineering; and the ASCE “Dream Big” IMAX Movie Technical Advisory Council. He holds memberships in the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and the Society for Diversity.
Dr. Reid is a recipient of an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; the Excellence in Leadership Award from NSBE Boston Professionals; the Kenneth Andrew Roe Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) for his effectiveness in promoting unity among engineering societies; and the IT Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) Silver Dome Award for mentoring leadership in STEM.
Dr. Reid is a frequent contributor to the national diversity dialogue on broadening participation in STEM, authored several commentary pieces, has appeared on SiriusXM Karen Hunter Show, and been quoted in numerous articles in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Hechinger Report.