The Citadel announces new Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Shawn Spann Edwards, DBA, is promoted to The Citadel’s new Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer role.

Dr. Edwards has been with The Citadel since 2014, formerly serving as the college’s chief diversity officer, and will now serve as the first person in a new, vice president-level position that is part of the president’s leadership team.

“A diverse, inclusive environment creates the optimal learning and working experiences for The Citadel community,” says President, Gen. Glenn. M. Walters, USMC (Ret.). “Over her almost seven years with the college, Dr. Shawn Edwards has consistently demonstrated the leadership capabilities and knowledge critical to guiding the college successfully toward our strategic goals in the area of diversity and inclusion. Elevating her role to Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer represents our commitment to this continuing effort and our confidence in her work.”

In Edwards’ Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer role, she will lead the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in support of the college’s mission, core values, and the Our Mighty Citadel 2026 strategic plan.

“I am elated that General Walters recognizes the importance of inclusive excellence in all that we do at The Citadel,” said Edwards. “Through the work of many on campus, The Citadel is already well-positioned to move our efforts to the next level, in alignment with our core values of honor, duty, and respect. I look forward to deep engagement as a member of the president’s staff.”

Edwards is also an adjunct faculty member for the College of Charleston and owner of a consulting practice, Solutions by Shawn Edwards, LLC, where she provides expert advice on diversity, equity, inclusion, culture alignment strategies, and human resources services to clients.

Edwards holds four degrees: a Doctor of Business Administration from Temple University, an MBA and Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and Learning from Walden University, a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Webster University, and an Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Bauder College. Edwards also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation through the Human Resources Certification Institute and is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional.

Edwards serves on the board for Together SC, the YWCA of Greater Charleston, and Palmetto Warrior Connection. In addition, Edwards is a member of Explore Charleston’s Heart for Hospitality Advisory Board, and Chair of Temple University’s DBA Alumni Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board.

Edwards is also a mentor and community volunteer, facilitates the Charleston Illumination Project, and is a 2013 fellow of Furman’s University’s Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative. She is also recognized as one of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s 2015 Forty Under 40, a 2006 Leadership Charleston graduate, a 2016 Leadership South Carolina graduate, and received a Fall 2017 Spirit of The Citadel Presidential Award recipient. Edwards is also a member of the ministerial staff for Christian Praise & Worship Center in North Charleston.

Edwards, originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, currently resides in Charleston with her husband Derrick J. Edwards, and the two share five children and two grandchildren.

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