Analía Rao Appointed  Executive Director of the Stacey Nicholas Office of Access and Inclusion

Feb. 2, 2023 Analía Rao has been named the new executive director of the Stacey Nicholas Office of Access and Inclusion in the UCI Samueli School of Engineering, effective Jan. 23. She replaces Sharnnia Artis, who left UCI in September 2021 to become the vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at George Mason University.

As the new director of OAI, Rao will provide strategic leadership for the office and interface with students, faculty, staff, industry partners and the broader community on issues surrounding outreach, access and inclusion. She brings a wealth of experience to the role, having spent over a decade leading outreach initiatives to help pave a path toward STEM higher education for Latino students at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was a research faculty member.

“I’m honored to be selected for this position and eager to work with all members of our community to further advance the school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Rao. “I look forward to joining OAI’s efforts in expanding access opportunities while creating an inclusive environment in our school where all students feel a sense of community and belonging, a place that empowers them to thrive.”

Born and raised in Argentina, Rao obtained her diploma in social work from the Universidad del Salvador (USAL), Argentina, in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, she served on the field faculty at the USAL School of Social Work. In 2004, Rao immigrated to the United States and joined the UCLA School of Public Affairs as a visiting scholar and obtained a master’s degree in social welfare. Upon graduation, Rao served as the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, where she managed several research projects on policy issues affecting the Latino community. In addition to her research and program management experience, Rao has extensive clinical experience in working with culturally diverse populations.

“I am so excited to welcome Analia to head the Office of Access and Inclusion,” said Stacey Nicholas, UCI Foundation trustee whose $5 million donation in 2020 supported and named the OAI. “She has a true passion and enthusiasm for supporting underserved communities, as well as broad experience. I look forward to Analia and OAI taking the engineering school to the next level in diversity, access and inclusion.”

Rao is the recipient of numerous awards including the Buenos Aires Health Ministry Residency Fellowship in Public Health, the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship, the 2021 Notable Leader Award from the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and a three-time recipient of the Faces of Inclusive Excellence Award at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I look forward to working with Analia on making sure that all of our students feel a strong sense of belonging and are able to thrive and succeed here at UCI,” said Egerstedt. “I also want to express my sincere thanks to Marvin Maldonado for serving as OAI interim director for the past year and a half. Under his steady leadership, OAI has been critical for assisting our students as they navigated the significant challenges faced during the past few years.”

- Lori  Brandt