Fordham Law School announced today that Kimathi Gordon-Somers has been appointed assistant dean of student affairs and diversity.
Starting on February 4, in his new role, Gordon-Somers will be responsible for strategic leadership, direction, and assessment for a spectrum of services designed to support student success, enhance engagement, and foster a diverse and inclusive community across a talented, motivated student body. He will serve as a key member of the Law School’s senior management team.
Prior to joining Fordham Law, Gordon-Somers was the assistant dean for students at St. John’s University School of Law. Before that he served as the associate director of career development and coordinator of the externship program. He also taught Trial Advocacy, the Externship Seminar and Professional Development as an adjunct professor. Gordon-Somers joined St. John’s in 2012 after 15 years of practice as a prosecutor and in the private sector. Over the course of his career he has worked as an assistant state attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, as a senior assistant district attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, and at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. Gordon-Somers received his Bachelor of Arts in French and English from Franklin & Marshall College and his Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law.
“I’m thrilled to join Fordham Law to lead the School’s student affairs and diversity efforts,” said Gordon-Somers. “Fordham has a rich and interesting history of service, a robust network of alumni across a variety of sectors, and a large, engaged student body. I’m looking forward to becoming part of the community and supporting the Law School’s students on their journeys.”
Gordon-Somers succeeds assistant dean Nitza Milagros Escalera, who retired in December after serving more than 25 years as Fordham Law’s assistant dean of student affairs and for the past three years as assistant dean of diversity initiatives. Escalera has been a key support for students as they enter law school, as they experience the school and after they leave. She created and ran the academic enrichment program which acclimated students from diverse backgrounds to law school. She also played a leadership role in programs that provide pipelines for diverse students at the high school and college level, helping to nurture and support an interest in legal careers. Most recently, she collaborated with faculty to launch an ambitious pipeline program called Increasing Diversity in Education and the Law (IDEAL), a three-year legal training program directed at undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds.
To fill the role, Fordham Law School’s leaders convened a committee which included alumni as well as student, staff, and faculty representatives. The School engaged Spelman Johnson to conduct the nationwide search.
“Kimathi brings an important set of relevant experiences to this critical role and I am excited to collaborate with him to ensure that our students are well supported and to build upon Nitza’s tremendous legacy,” said Dean Matthew Diller of Fordham Law School. “My gratitude to the committee, led by Associate Dean Linda Sugin, for the care and consideration it devoted to this search.”