Fellows and Scholars

Alma R. Clayton-Pedersen

AAC&U Distinguished Fellow

Alma Clayton-Pedersen is chief executive officer of Emeritus Consulting Group, a Chicago-based firm that uses organizational development principles to assist nonprofit, public and education entities in enhancing their efficacy for the public good. Dr. Clayton-Pedersen is a dynamic speaker who provides consultation on faculty professional development, program evaluation, diversity, and institutional change to campuses, school districts, and organizations nationally and internationally.

From 2010 to 2016, she was an AAC&U Senior Scholar, directing the work of the Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future project funded by the National Science Foundation. She is a Distinguished Fellow in AAC&U’s Office of the President.

From 2001 to 2010, she was AAC&U’s vice president for education and institutional renewal. Dr. Clayton-Pedersen also directed AAC&U’s partnership with the Pathways to College Network, which focused on college access and success for underserved students, and established AAC&U’s national initiative Inclusive Excellence, which advanced the Association’s strategic priority: Aim High and Make Excellence Inclusive.

Dr. Clayton-Pedersen first joined AAC&U as a senior policy advisor and special assistant to AAC&U’s presidents after more than 15 years at Vanderbilt University, where she served in senior administrative roles within student affairs, academic affairs, athletic affairs and Vanderbilt’s public policy center.

Dr. Clayton-Pedersen has directed projects funded by the BellSouth, Ford, George Gund, James Irvine and Lumina Foundations, as well as the Carnegie Corp of New York, the Lilly Endowment, the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), the National Science Foundation and the Metropolitan Nashville Government. She has co-authored many publications, including Making a Real Difference with Diversity: A Guide for Institutional Change and Enacting Diverse Learning Environments: Improving the Climate for Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education, which illustrate promising practices to enhance the climate for diversity.

She holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and both an M.Ed. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.