Ethnic GEM, Michael James

Ethnic GEM, Michael James
TITLE: Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO)  
COMPANY: Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA),
STATE: Boston, MA


Submitted by Leonard Webb

June of 2021 Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities, named Michael James as its new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer (CDEIO). In this role, he will be responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy.

As CDEIO, Mr. James will identify and champion strategic priorities for the organization and deliver practical and actionable solutions. Using research, analysis and benchmarks, he will institute an organizational program in partnership with key stakeholders and internal business partners while harnessing and connecting the various equity and social justice initiatives already in place at CHA.

“MIchael will play an essential role in building a more vibrant, inclusive and representational environment that supports our workforce and improves care for our patients and communities,” said Cambridge Health Alliance CEO Assaad Sayah, MD.

Mr. James is a national award-winning diversity, equity and inclusion leader with a 20-year record of driving talent management best practices in public, nonprofit and corporate settings. With decades of personal, professional and volunteer experience in Boston’s communities of color, Mr. James is known for cultivating, engaging and energizing a multicultural workforce to diversify recruitment and maximize productivity and retention.

Prior to joining CHA, Mr. James was the senior vice president of human resources at the Old Colony YMCA in Brockton, Mass., where he oversaw talent management for 2,100 employees. As senior vice president, he facilitated staff diversity, inclusion and the Global Committee, yielding assessment ratings 25% above the national average. As director of human resources at the YMCA of Greater Boston from 2014-2017, he led efforts to develop and implement policies, programs and strategic planning focused on talent management for 2,500 employees. From 2011-2013, Mr. James was director of human resources and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where he led employee engagement and change management and enhanced BCBSMA’s workplace brand in communities of color through business and community networks. He also served as chief human resources officer and chief diversity officer at Boston Architectural College, managing policies and programs to promote and sustain both workforce and student diversity and inclusion, and implementing community relations grant-making and service-learning activities to foster new private and public partnerships and increase employee and student diversity.

Mr. James received his bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts Boston with a major in psychology and a minor in philosophy, and he also holds a master’s degree in business from Suffolk University with a concentration in human resources management.


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