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RIC alumna Anna Cano Morales is Rhode Island College’s new associate vice president for community, equity and diversity. She begins work on Tuesday, Jan. 17. 

“Throughout her career, Anna has been a respected leader and champion for the Rhode Island community,” said RIC President Frank D. Sánchez. “Her extensive experience in social work and policy in Rhode Island makes her a natural fit to lead the effort to integrate diversity, equity and community into the college’s core mission, vision and strategies. We are fortunate to have her on board as a member of our senior leadership team.”

In her new role, Cano Morales will interface regularly with college leadership to ensure that active and viable diversity and community initiatives are being developed and implemented across all divisions. She will develop a diversity and inclusion education plan for students, staff and faculty and provide oversight and leadership for Promising Practices, Unity Center, Dialogue on Diversity, Disability Services Center, Women’s Center, Interfaith Center and International Student Services.

A native of Central Falls, Cano Morales earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human development, counseling and family studies, with a minor in Latin American literature, from the University of Rhode Island in 1991. In 1999 she earned a Master of Social Work degree in policy, administration and systems at Rhode Island College.

For a decade, Cano Morales worked as associate vice president for grant programs for the Rhode Island Foundation, where she led the Hispanics in Philanthropy initiative and managed a team of program officers. She most recently served as director of the Latino Policy Institute (LPI) at Roger Williams University, where she was responsible for stimulating public policy discourse and enhancing the public’s understanding of the Rhode Island Latino experience.

Roger Williams University Provost Andrew Workman said, “Over the last four years Anna has led LPI’s many efforts to inform policy conversations about Rhode Island’s growing Latino population. Although her presence at the university and its Latino Policy Institute will be missed, we wish her success in the important work that she has taken on at Rhode Island College.”

Co-chair of the LPI Board of Directors Paola Fernandez added, “Anna has been an undeniable force in the evolution of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, building the organization’s reputation for comprehensive and reliable research on important topics related to the Latino community. Her departure leaves a big void, but we are looking forward to the next phase of growth for LPI with a new leader at the helm.”

Cano Morales has served on several nonprofit boards, including the Rhode Island Board of Education, the University of Rhode Island Foundation Executive Board of Directors and the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee. She is currently chairwoman of the Central Falls School Board of Trustees and a Practice Seminar Senior Fellow for the Rhode Island Core Program of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. 

RIC also recently hired alumna Margaret Lynch-Gadaleta, Esq. as director of institutional equity. Lynch-Gadaleta will support Cano Morales, serving as educator, trainer and spokesperson regarding issues of access, equity, opportunity and Title IX. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and management from Rhode Island College in 1985 and her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1988.​