Makeba Clay leads diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Pew Research Center, overseeing efforts to incorporate the values, practices, and benefits of DEI with the goal of building a more inclusive culture in both organizations. Clay’s work will inform Pew’s vision, programs, policies, and communications; ensure that DEI is a core element of the Trusts’ mission; encourage listening to diverse perspectives; and help staff from all backgrounds thrive. As a member of the executive team, Clay works closely with Pew’s DEI council, DEI steering committee, and employee resource groups to advance DEI throughout the institution.
Before coming to Pew, Clay worked for two decades with leaders from government, nonprofits, and educational institutions—including Princeton University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution— to develop strategies that build and sustain an inclusive workforce. She joined Pew from the Phillips Collection, where she was the first chief diversity officer—a position without precedent among American art museums. During her time at Phillips, Clay shaped a comprehensive DEI strategy across its staff, board, partnerships, programs, and policies. Her professional affiliations include serving as a senior diversity fellow with the American Alliance of Museums and as a member of the board at ArtTable, an organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts. She is a past national president of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education and is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Clay serves her Montgomery County, Maryland, community as a chaplain, mediator, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Clay holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Albany and a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. She also earned professional certifications from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.