Newswise — WASHINGTON, November 23, 2021 -- The American Institute of Physics is pleased to welcome Jovonni Spinner as its diversity, equity and belonging officer.
Spinner will spearhead and expand AIP's efforts to lead the physical sciences community toward an impactful understanding of how to be more welcoming to and supportive of diverse physical scientists throughout their careers.
"AIP is a dynamic organization that is a leader in advancing, promoting, and serving the physical sciences," Spinner said. "I hope to build on that mission by using a diversity lens to build a culture of equity, both within AIP and in the physical sciences enterprise starting with focusing my talents on removing barriers to increase the number of Black, indigenous, and people of color students who pursue a physical science degree.
"Developing sustainable programming rooted in research, best practices, and most importantly incorporating the community's voice will help AIP continue to build on collaborative partnerships that will benefit students and ultimately build a stronger, more diverse workforce."
Prior to joining AIP, Spinner was associate director for outreach and communications for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. Her other past work includes the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the Department of Health and Human Services' National Vaccine Program Office.
Spinner is a public health adjunct professor, serves on nonprofit boards, and is active in her community creating programs to build the public health workforce and mentoring early-career professionals. Her degrees include a doctorate in public health from Morgan State University, a master's degree in public health from Emory University, and a bachelor's degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Michael Moloney, CEO of AIP, said Spinner will lead AIP's actions to continue development of diversity initiatives, building off the success of AIP's TEAM-UP efforts.
"Spinner has a demonstrated passion for addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility issues and brings a wealth of experience and leadership to AIP from her work in public health creating multifaceted health education programs to support consumers in making healthy decisions, building healthier communities through advocacy, and nurturing a strong network of stakeholders to support health equity," said Moloney. "Her work has helped millions make better-informed health decisions, obtain the services they need, and advocate for healthier communities.
"I am delighted to welcome her to the Institute and look forward to her leadership of AIP's new Diversity Office on these critical issues."
In her role as AIP's diversity, equity and belonging officer, Spinner will work alongside Arlene Modeste Knowles, who has been leading the TEAM-UP project, by developing and rolling out implementation strategies to build on the TEAM-UP recommendations.
"Every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, or disability has the right to the services, tools, and resources they need to live their best life," said Spinner. "I know firsthand how challenging it can be to complete a science degree and to be in spaces and places where not many, if any, people look like you or share similar cultural backgrounds; so, I want to change the narrative and help create supportive environments where diverse scientists can thrive and feel valued and welcomed."
When Spinner is not busy educating minority communities on health and wellness, building organizational change to improve DEIBA efforts, or mentoring early-career professionals, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves adventure and traveling and never misses an opportunity to explore and learn about other cultures.
About American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a 501(c)(3) membership corporation of scientific societies. AIP pursues its mission to advance, promote, and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity with a unifying voice of strength from diversity. In its role as a federation, AIP advances the success of its Member Societies by providing the means to pool, coordinate, and leverage their diverse expertise and contributions in pursuit of a shared goal of advancing the physical sciences in the research enterprise, in the economy, in education, and in society. In its role as an institute, AIP operates as a center of excellence using policy analysis, social science, and historical research to promote future progress in the physical sciences.