Nicole Hudson was previously deputy mayor for racial equity and priority initiatives for the City of St. Louis. Prior to joining the mayor’s office, Hudson served as communications director for the Ferguson Commission, appointed in 2014 by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to study the underlying root causes that led to the unrest in the St. Louis region following the death of Michael Brown Jr., and to make policy recommendations based on the identified issues. In this role, she led communications both during and after the commission’s work, with the development of the Ferguson Commission report, “Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity.” She went on to serve as lead catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson, a nonprofit organization charged by the Ferguson Commission with facilitating implementation of the report, where she was responsible for strategy, funding, partnerships, community process and daily management of the organization.

“Core to the mission of the Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is an ideal – a ‘culture and climate of diversity and inclusion’ – that has no precedent in our country or the St. Louis region,” Hudson said. “I am excited to help Washington University continue to move toward that ideal, and I am eager to become part of a university community dedicated to the significant visioning, intentionality and investment required to do so.”

A graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Hudson is active in the St. Louis community. She is a board member for Invest STL and the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis and served on the Regional Arts Commission Cultural Plan Thought Leaders Forum. She was recently a panelist for the Kennedy Center Arts Summit. She is co-founder of the St. Louis for the Love digital community and has been recognized by Alive magazine as a 2015 Innovator and as a member of its 2014 Buzzlist.