Rochelle Gilbert, Ed.D.
Executive Senior Director, Office of University Relations & Advancement, Office of the President; Dean, Center For Social Change
Dr. Rochelle Gilbert is a woman on the MOVE! This creative coach, educational champion, relevant leader, powerful preacher, prolific speaker, game-changer, agent of positive social change, chief energy officer, and servant of the people, is ordained to encourage, educate, equip, and empower others to Find Their Voice through enhancing individual self-awareness, leveraging collaborative and innovative thinking, and maximizing personal potential.
Dr. Ro as she is affectionately called is the Executive Senior Director of University Relations and Advancement for the Office of the President (OOTP) at Walden University. She is responsible for championing social change, advocating academic excellence, promoting, and upholding the values of inclusiveness, encouraging community engagement, and designing and executing strategies to foster mutually beneficial partnerships with university stakeholders. In her role in OOTP, she has oversight of the Center for Social Change, Talks for Good Initiatives, Government and Community Relations, and Alumni Chapters. She works closely with central university stakeholders to foster inter-institutional collaborations.
Dr. Ro is a servant leader and educator at heart who has impacted countless students, faculty, and staff with over 30 years of experience in transformational leadership, program development, and change management. Her transparency, collaboration, openness to change, and approachable presence demonstrate her uncompromising commitment to serving, leading, and helping others.
Dr. Ro has over a decade of administrative and leadership experience at Walden. Preceding her current administrative leadership appointment, Dr. Ro served as Dean of Student Affairs for over 50,000 students, providing oversight of Career Planning and Development, Student Life, Leadership, and Engagement, Alumni Engagement, Student Judicial and Restorative Services, OMBUDS, Student Counseling Services, and Student Wellness and Disability Services. She supervised the establishment of Communities of Practice, and Professional Development Communities for student leaders, Career Resource HUBs, the Readers for Good Book Club, and new student organizations. Previously serving as the Senior Director of Academic Residencies, Dr. Gilbert provided strategic planning and implantation of residency programming and oversight for faculty and staff support in delivering online learning of residency goals and learning outcomes. She led the pandemic necessary pivot of on-ground Residency experiences to fully virtual events creating renewed delivery experiences.
Dr. Ro currently serves as an Institutional Chair for the Adtalem Global Education EDGE (Empowerment, Diversity, Growth, Excellence) Network and Advisor for Walden’s chapters of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), Divine Nine Alliance (DNA), and Virtual Fulbright Chapter. She has served as a Positive Leadership Champion, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee representative, and President’s Council for Student and Alumni Employees. Dr. Ro is also a member of Chi Sigma Iota, Golden Key, and Tau Upsilon Sigma Honor Societies. However, she is most proud to be a Walden Alumni Lifetime Ambassador, where she shares the exceptional experiences of being a Walden Alum and Mentor.
Dr. Ro’s research interests include women’s leadership in higher education administration, mental health in communities of color, and the superwoman syndrome. She earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisiana Monroe and a Master’s in Educational Leadership & Administration. She has an Executive MBA and Master’s degrees in Clinical and Mental Health, School Counseling, and Human Services from Walden University.
Prior to joining Walden, Dr. Gilbert served as an elementary educator, mathematics specialist, district leader, federal programs director, university professor, state consultant, Director of Teacher Initiatives, Program Director, Principal Investigator for University grants, and Louisiana Board of Examiners member for the National Council for Accreditation of Teach Education (NCATE).
Dr. Ro is a proud Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and President of the Monroe Alumnae Chapter. Dr. Ro was selected to participate in the Delta Fellows Leadership Program as well as the NOBEL Women Leadership Summit. She was nominated as Disney’s Teacher of the Year, named an Outstanding Young Woman of America, Who’s Who in American Education, and CLOUT Unsung Hero. Additionally, Dr. Ro has been honored with the Minerva Award of Educational Excellence for her commitment to education; as Lady of Distinction for her exemplary example of Finer Womanhood in the Church, Community, Sorority, and Professional Realms of her life, Rising Star Award for leadership, and Outstanding Woman of Purpose for service, spiritual, and motivational contributions. Most recently, she was awarded the Literary and Community Service Award for her contributions to the Number 1 Best Selling Book, A Woman’s Worth, and her stellar philanthropic work in her community and abroad.
In addition, Dr. Ro is the President of THERO Initiatives, LLC, a professional services firm, and CEO of Dr. Ro and Associates, a non-profit focusing on at-risk minorities focused on the “I AM – Intentionally Authentically ME” Principle. Passionate about helping others to achieve their “NEXT” in Life through Balance and Impact, Dr. Ro’s goal is to move people from what others think and feel about them to the I AM principle, appreciating and embracing all that GOD has created them to be and MORE!