Jilliene Johnson
The University of Vermont, Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development Director

As an educator, Jilliene understands the transformative nature of education to shape and change lives and is dedicated to making higher education more inclusive, affordable, and equitable.

Currently she serves as the Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development Director in the office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Students at the University of Vermont (UVM). In her role she oversees professional development for approximately 200 staff members in the division, serves as the divisional liaison to the faculty and students of the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program, Chairs the University’s Bias Response Program and provides divisional and institutional support for matters related to diversity, inclusion and campus climate. Prior to this role, she also had the opportunity to serve as the Assistant Dean of Students for three years. As an Assistant Dean, she was responsible for supporting the success and well-being of UVM students, oversaw the development and review process for institutional policies assigned to Student Affairs, and served as the Appellate Officer for all student conduct cases.

Jilliene’s passion for advocating for underserved communities and federal policy was further refined during her time on Capitol Hill. As a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Education Fellow, she served in the offices of U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) and Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC). Her portfolio included early childhood development, education (K-12 and postsecondary), health care, poverty, and judiciary issues.

Her commitment to equity and inclusion extends beyond her professional roles and continues as an Upward Bound Mentor, a National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Mentor, and as a GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Trustee at the College of Wooster.

Jilliene was born and raised in Greater Cleveland, Ohio. She earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont and her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Black Studies from the College of Wooster.

In her spare time, she loves spending quality time with family and friends, traveling with her fiancée, and learning new ways to stay active.