The Office of Diversity Programs staff is here to help. Find out more about us below.

Will R. Ross, MD, MPH

Associate Dean for Diversity
Principal Officer for Community Partnerships
Alumni Endowed Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology


Dr. Ross is associate dean for diversity at Washington University School of Medicine and professor of medicine in the Nephrology Division. Over the past two decades he has recruited and developed a diverse workforce of medical students, residents and faculty while promoting health equity locally, nationally and globally through collaborations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and public health officials in Ethiopia, Haiti, and South Africa. He is currently assisting the development of an undergraduate program in public health in northern Haiti. As a public health and health policy expert, Dr. Ross focuses on systems integration and conceptual frameworks to reduce health-care disparities. He is a co-founder of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence and served on the task force that created the Washington University Institute for Public Health, while serving as co-director of the new MD/MPH program. He is vice chair of the Washington University Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. He has been instrumental in redesigning local access to health care for the underserved as the founder of the Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic and co-founder of Casa de Salud Latino Health Center. Dr. Ross is also a founding member of the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a magnet health professions high school in St. Louis.

Dr. Ross previously served as the chief medical officer and director of ambulatory clinics for the St. Louis Regional Medical Center, the last public hospital in St. Louis. In 1997 he was appointed a charter and founding member of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, which has leveraged over $400 million dollars to St. Louis to maintain an integrated network of safety net primary care clinics and public health services. He served as Chairman of the board of directors of the Missouri Foundation for Health, where he directed the Foundation’s creation of the nonprofit center, Health Literacy Missouri. He served on the Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy Roundtable, where he evaluated health literacy efforts at the international level. He is currently Chairman of the board of directors of the Mid-America Transplant Services Foundation, Chairman of the St. Louis City Board of Health, and a member of the CDC’s Health Disparities Committee, where he promotes diversity in the public health workforce. He is a founding associate editor of the new public health journal, Frontiers in Public Health Education and Promotion. He was recently elected to the Group on Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee for the AAMC, where he focuses on strategic planning to advance faculty diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Ross is the principal investigator of the Epharmix E-Interventions for Medical Care Study and co-investigator of the APO l-1 GUAARD Replication Study. Dr. Ross has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2005 State of Missouri Martin Luther King Distinguished Service in Medicine Award, the 2009 Washington University Medical Center Alumni Faculty Achievement Award, the 2011 Health Literacy Missouri Trailblazer Award, the 2013 Samuel Goldstein Leadership in Medical Education Award, and he is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. A graduate of Yale University, he completed medical school at Washington University School of Medicine, an Internal Medicine residency at Vanderbilt University, and a Renal Fellowship at Washington University. He completed a Master’s of Science in Epidemiology at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

Read a message from Dr. Ross addressing diversity at the university »

Lisa Stevenson, MBA

Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Engagement


As the assistant dean for student diversity and engagement, Lisa Stevenson directs the planning, implementation and evaluation of key initiatives integral to the Office’s mission to prepare a diverse student body to become leaders in a vibrant, global society.

Leading the effort to recruit and retain students from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine, she serves on the Committee on Admissions and works closely with the School’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA), Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and the LGBTQ Med student groups.

Read about SNMA, LMSA and the LGBTQ student groups »

She worked as a human resource consultant and analyst before moving on to the position of associate director of multicultural recruitment at Washington University’s Danforth Campus. In 1997, she joined the Office of Diversity Programs at the School of Medicine.

Ms. Stevenson earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard University and a master’s of business administration from Washington University in St. Louis through a fellowship from the Consortium Graduate Study in Management, an organization that fosters diversity and inclusion in American business.

Read a message from Dean Stevenson welcoming students »

Liz Riggs

Project/Program Coordinator

As a Chicago native (go Cubs!), Liz has spent close to ten years residing in both St. Louis City and currently in the Metro East. While here, she has come to find out that she loves Ted Drewes ice cream, gooey butter cake, the St. Louis Zoo and that the weather in St. Louis is just as unpredictable as in Chicago.

Liz received her bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology at Illinois Wesleyan University and her master’s in School Counseling at St. Louis University. While in St. Louis, she has spent the majority of her professional career working with diverse populations. From both personal and professional experiences, Liz understands the importance of education to improve one’s quality of life and the adversity that certain groups face in the educational system. She has spent a number of years in the special education classroom and the past three years as an elementary school counselor in North County. Her focus and passion has always been to work and foster resiliency with underrepresented populations in the educational setting.

Liz is looking forward to using her experiences from working with the K-12 student populations to now supporting diverse higher education learners at Washington University School of Medicine. She is also excited at the prospect of growing both professionally and to support the continued efforts of the Office of Diversity Programs. Even though she is currently working behind the scenes in the ODP; Liz continues her work as an educator by teaching beginning ESL (English as a Second Language) to adult learners residing in West County.

Contact us

Phone: 314-362-6854