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Paula Whetsel-Ribeau

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau

Vice President and Chief Equity & People Officer

Human Resources

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D., is currently the vice president and chief equity and people officer at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she has worked the past seven years. Whetsel-Ribeau has provided innovative leadership in the development of new academic programs, strategic planning for diversity, equity and inclusion, and collaborative work with faculty and staff in the area of student success. Creating an environment that enables students to experience the rich complexity of life and culture in America has kept her highly motivated throughout her career.

Whetsel-Ribeau previously worked at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she was a co-principal investigator of a $3.4 million, five-year National Science Foundation “Institutional Transformation Grant” established to increase diversity of women in higher education, specifically in STEM fields. She was also the executive director for the Howard University Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program and founder and chair of the Howard University Women As Change Agents organization. Prior to Howard University, she served as the assistant vice president for student affairs and as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University. Some of her most significant accomplishments included creating and providing leadership and management of several innovative and successful initiatives with a focus on curriculum and professional development, assessment and the attainment of grant funds to support these endeavors.

Whetsel-Ribeau was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to the National Board for the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). She is a member of multiple professional organizations, involved in various community service and board activities, and has provided keynote addresses, presentations, and a range of other levels of support for several of our schools and organizations across campuses as well as throughout many communities both locally and nationally. The numerous awards and citations she has received characterize her commitment to goal attainment, ethical leadership, and a tireless commitment to creating institutions that improve the lives of others.

Whetsel-Ribeau holds a Bachelor of Science and doctorate in education from Bowling Green State University and has a master's in higher education counseling from Kutztown University. She is married to Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D., Howard University's 13th president, and they are the proud parents of two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren.