Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal is the inaugural vice president for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Utah, where she provides leadership and strategic oversight across campus.
Raised at the crossroads of Highway 239 and Interstate 35, near the mouth of the Guadalupe River, Villarreal grew up in a small rural Texas town with one flashing yield sign, five churches, and a single high school where she graduated in a class of twelve. She is an Air Force veteran and first-generation college graduate who holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Arizona State University. Prior to rejoining the University of Utah, she was the former associate vice president of strategic initiatives at California State University, Fullerton, and associate dean at the University of Denver’s Colorado Women’s College. She began her academic career as a history professor at the University of Utah.
Villarreal serves the broader higher education community as the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), a member of the executive committee for the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities’ Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and serves as part of the TIAA Inclusion Council. In all her work, Villarreal strives to strengthen the dignity of all individuals through organizational transformation in practice, policy, and processes.