Date Posted: 12/12/2023

Hakim Weatherspoon, professor of computer science, will return to the role of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science. His term will run from January 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026. Weatherspoon succeeds David Bindel, professor of computer science, who has served as associate dean since January 2021. 

“I am delighted  to welcome Hakim back to this key role,” said Kavita Bala, dean of Cornell Bowers CIS. “His significant contributions and continued advocacy will help Bowers CIS continue to be a leader in tech. I look forward to partnering with him on this core priority.”

In this role, Weatherspoon will advise and support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for the college, including scholarship, programming, and events. He will also represent Bowers CIS on university and related college committees and act as primary advisor to the college’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He previously held this position before going on sabbatical at his company, Exostellar, in 2021. 

Weatherspoon received a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and has promoted diversity and inclusion before formal programs existed. When presenting Weatherspoon with the prestigious Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching, and Service through Diversity in 2022, President Martha E. Pollack remarked how the impact of his scholarship, mentorship, and service, reverberated across and beyond the university. 

“I am excited and honored to serve as the next associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, where I can work to help cultivate a community where every voice is heard and every person is empowered to thrive,” Weatherspoon said. 

Since 2011, Weatherspoon has organized the annual SoNIC Summer Research Workshop to help prepare undergraduates from underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral degrees. He also co-founded CSMore, the rising sophomore summer program in computer science, which has been acknowledged with an “Inspiring Programs in STEM” Award by Insight into Diversity. 

He was awarded the Cornell Engineering Zellman Warhaft Faculty Commitment to Diversity Award in 2014, was named the Black Engineer of the Year by Modern Day Leader in 2009, and was elected Fellow of the Society of Black Engineers in 1997.

Weatherspoon has also received a variety of prestigious awards for his research in the computer systems community, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, and a Kavli Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences. He is also the co-director for the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) and the associate director for the NSF Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS).

Weatherspoon will succeed Bindel, who has held this role since January 2021. In that time, Bindel’s commitment and dedication has helped foster a more inclusive and equitable environment. 

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to David Bindel for his dedication and leadership in this role since January 2021," Bala said. "David has worked tirelessly to develop and grow the college’s Office of DEI, and has been instrumental in enhancing academic programming and support for diversifying the college’s undergraduate research program and in developing scholarships for graduate students.” 

In partnership with LeeAnn Roberts, Director for DEI, the office now offers a suite of new, innovative programming including: Dinner with Deans+, Alumni Roundtables, ASCEND, JEDI Dialogues, hackathons, as well as a variety of retreats and social events for Bowers CIS students. 

Under his leadership, the Office of DEI also enhanced academic programming and support for diversifying the college’s undergraduate research program, expanded the SoNIC and CSMore programs, signed a joint agreement with the Graduate School to enhance the Hopper-Dean fellowships, and developed scholarships for professional masters students