Dawnita Wilson


Director, Inclusion Initiatives
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pittsburgh, Penn.
Age: 39


Dawnita Wilson is the director of Inclusion Initiatives at UPMC, one of Pennsylvania’s leading health-care organizations. Wilson manages inclusion initiatives and community engagement activities for UPMC’s Center for Inclusion. She was instrumental in the successful launch of the “Dignity and Respect Campaign,” an initiative built to promote a culture of inclusion, dignity and respect in the workplace, which soon spread to the community and has since been adopted by several organizations outside of the Pittsburgh area. “We wanted employees to understand that inclusion begins with a core belief that everyone deserves dignity and respect” says Wilson.


Before her role as director, Wilson was UPMC’s senior diversity recruiter and managed its systemwide diversity recruitment efforts. Her role as a diversity executive allows her to share her passion for helping others. “Mentoring is important to me,” she says. “I want to be remembered for being a change agent and inspiration to those who care less about what success looks like and more about what it feels like.”


Wilson also has a passion for writing and one day wants to start a greeting card company. She serves on the boards of the Josh Gibson Foundation, which provides support to youth in the city of Pittsburgh; the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, which works to decrease recidivism amongst incarcerated youth;
and the Workforce Development Global Alliance, which promotes peace and education for youth in Kenya and United States. Wilson has a master’s degree in human resources management from LaRoche College and a bachelor’s in administration of justice from the University of Pittsburgh. “My experiences have helped me realize that success comes from within.  And to me, success is being fortunate enough to wake up each day knowing that I’m doing work that I love, believe in, and makes a difference,” she says.


Fun Facts

Last movie: “For Colored Girls”
Favorite song:
“Man in the Mirror”
Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers