Joining Campus Life as the inaugural executive director of student centers, Lydia Washington will officially begin work on October 17. In her new role, Lydia will provide integrated leadership to operations, programs, and services in Campus Life’s three student center facilities – Cox Hall, the Emory Student Center, and the Alumni Memorial University Center (AMUC). The position will also provide leadership for the offices of Student Center Events and Operations; Student Involvement, Leadership, and Transitions (SILT); and Community and Civic Engagement (CCE).

The executive director will report jointly to David Clark, vice president of Campus Life, and the newly created position of associate vice president and dean of students (working title), which was announced in April as associate vice president for belonging, engagement, and community. During the search to fill this position, Washington will also report to Kyle Williams, special advisor to the senior vice president and dean of Campus Life.

“Lydia comes to us as an outstanding match for this new role as we continue to enhance student flourishing through the many spaces and programming opportunities offered by our student centers,” Kyle said.

Lydia is currently the senior director of student organizational development and management in the Student Engagement and Leadership department at the University of Massachusetts––Amherst. Her leadership roles cover student activities, student governance, Greek affairs, facilities operation, risk management, and leadership development. Earlier in her tenure with UMass—Amherst, Lydia held several other positions, including associate director of student activities. In 2016 and again in 2019, she taught courses in social justice and racism.

“We could not be more pleased that Lydia is joining the Campus Life team,” David said. “With her remarkable range of experience and exceptional performance over the years, she promises to set a high bar in the new position of executive director of student centers for Campus Life.”

A student affairs professional for the past 16 years, Lydia has been committed to fostering vibrant communities and creating supportive environments on college campuses. The UMass-Amherst community recognized her in 2014 and 2022 with the Chancellor’s Citation award, the university’s highest honor for staff and one of a number of honors she has garnered over the years. Lydia has served in leadership roles in the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), where she was an Alice Manicur Symposium participant in 2018.

“I am excited to join Emory, a university that provides exceptional opportunities for students to prepare for global citizenship and service to humanity,“ Lydia said. “I welcome the chance to make even a modest contribution to the extraordinary work that Campus Life does for students and, through them, for our nation and world.”

Lydia earned a master’s in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a bachelor‘s in political science from the University of Florida. In her spare time, Lydia enjoys traveling the world, dancing, and mentoring.