Dr. Sumun Pendakur

Dr. Sumun Pendakur

Biography

Dr. Sumun L. Pendakur is a scholar-practitioner, an activist-educator, a skilled facilitator, and a mom. With nearly 20 years in the field of higher education and a decade as a DEI speaker and trainer, Sumi’s work and research focuses on helping campuses and corporations build capacity for social justice and racial equity by empowering individuals at all levels to be transformational agents of change in their spheres of influence. Most recently, Sumi was the Chief Learning Officer at the USC Race and Equity Center, dedicated to advancing scalable racial justice in higher education and other sectors. Prior to that position, Sumi held roles as the Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Harvey Mudd College, serving on the President’s Cabinet and directing the Office of Institutional Diversity, and as the Director for USC Asian Pacific American Student Services. Sumi is serving her second term on the Board of Directors for NADOHE, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She is also the co-editor, with Dr. Shaun Harper and Dr. Stephen Quaye, of Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations (3rd edition) (2020). In 2019, she was named one of the top 35 women in higher education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. Sumi is the multilingual daughter of immigrants, was raised in the Midwest, and now calls Los Angeles her home.