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Dr. Darrell Ezell is a social scientist who serves as the inaugural Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at  HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology based in Cummins Research Park.  As a member of the senior leadership team, Darrell reports to the president and oversees the development and implementation of a comprehensive diversity action plan and inclusion strategy to advance equity in the Institute’s mission areas of genomic research, STEM education outreach, and tech startup/economic development.   He works closely with the Institute’s faculty investigators, senior scientists, diversity task force, as well as the workforce by applying organizational development strategies to advance strategic planning, building public-private partnerships, DEI training, professional development, workforce recruitment, and grant and private funding.  


Darrell brings nearly two decades of experience between time in higher education, government, nonprofit management and advising corporate leaders. Prior to joining HudsonAlpha, Darrell served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at Claremont Lincoln University in Claremont, California, scaling a start-up non-profit graduate university with a $50M gift from David and Joan Lincoln and led it to initial accreditation under WASC national accrediting body. As an administrator, he holds experience in key areas as: strategic planning faculty affairs, capital improvement projects, fundraising and external relations, online learning, strategic enrollment management, and board leadership.  Throughout his career, he has held numerous faculty appointments as Visiting Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Louisiana State University, Visiting Professor of Religion & History at Shaw University School of Divinity, and on faculty at Tulane and Claremont Lincoln Universities.  He currently serves as a Board Trustee at Rust College in Mississippi.


As an Eagle Scout and servant leader, Darrell gives his time to public service as a mayoral appointee to Huntsville’s Human Relations Commission, Leadership Greater Huntsville Flagship Class L-36 and DEI Committee, Schmidt Futures Task Force on Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy, and as a recent high-level appointee to Innovate Alabama’s Council on Outdoor Recreation. He has also served as an advisory council member with Alabama United led by the State of Alabama Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs. His global commitment to inter-cultural relations received official recognition by The Vatican from Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran and led to his participation as a United Nations Global Expert with the Alliance of Civilizations. In 2017, Darrell was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College and into Sigma Pi Phi (The Boule). 


Darrell received his Ph.D. in England from The University of Birmingham (Great Britain), with a dissertation examining cross-cultural communication training strategies to support U.S. diplomats in Arab countries after September 11th.  As a recipient of the Nali Dinshaw dissertation prize, he held appointments as a research fellow at the U.S. Department of State and the William J. Clinton Foundation and Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.  He holds a M.A. in Systematic Theology and Ethics from Union Theological Seminary (an affiliate of Columbia University), and B.A. in Psychology from Alabama A&M University.  



The University of Birmingham Birmingham, England



Union Theological Seminary

New York, New York



Alabama A&M University

Huntsville, Alabama


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