ORG CHART: New Leaders in DEI, Engineering


  • Luis Carvajal-Carmona, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Mikael Villalobos, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Amit Kanvinde, College of Engineering
  • Jeannie Darby, College of Engineering

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or DEI, announced the appointment of two associate vice chancellors:

  • Luis Carvajal-Carmona, AVC for the Office of Academic Diversity — He is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, and holds the Auburn Community Cancer Endowed Chair in Basic Science at the Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • Mikael Villalobos, AVC for the Office of Campus Community Relations — A UC Davis graduate, he has dedicated his career to the university, focusing on access, diversity and inclusion since joining the staff 30 years ago.
Luis Carvajal-Carmona headshot, UC Davis faculty
Luis Carvajal-Carmona

Carvajal-Carmona joined the UC Davis faculty in 2012 after having worked as a researcher at Imperial College London, University College London, the London Research Institute and the University of Oxford. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science at the National University of Colombia and a Ph.D. in human genetics at University College London.

He fills the AVC position vacated by Professor Lorena Oropeza when she joined the ethnic studies faculty at UC Berkeley.

As a researcher, Carvajal-Carmona specializes in cancer genetics, epidemiology, health disparities and global health. He is the founding director of the Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity and the Latinos United for Cancer Health Advancement (LUCHA) initiative, both affiliated with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In addition to his passionate scientific pursuits, he is the associate director of the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEAL) Office at the cancer center and the co-director of the Community Engagement Program at UC Davis Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Center.

He has served on several national biomedical workforce diversity committees at the American Association for Cancer Research and National Institutes of Health. He has mentored dozens of undergraduate and graduate students, almost all of them first-generation college graduates and members of under-represented groups.

He is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and the ADVANCE Scholar Award for his outstanding scholarship and mentorship.

Mikael Villalobos headshot, UC Davis administration
Mikael Villalobos

Villalobos double-majored in art studio and art history and also earned a doctorate in educational leadership at UC Davis. He began his university career as a clerk and program advisor in health education, then worked in educational outreach, first with the Early Academic Outreach Program as a regional outreach coordinator and assistant director, and then as educational partnership manager in the Academic Preparation Program.

Rahim Reed, retired associate executive vice chancellor, brought Villalobos into the Office of Campus Community Relations in 2006 to lead the Diversity Trainers Institute, then appointed him as the administrator of the Diversity Education Program in 2008.

Villalobos was named associate chief diversity officer in 2014, and, after Reed’s retirement, became interim associate vice chancellor pending a national search for a replacement — a search that resulted in his appointment on a permanent basis.

He leads many of DEI’s campuswide climate and inclusion initiatives, including the Diversity and Inclusion Education Program and the Campus Community Book Project, both recognized across the UC system for their robustness and scope, reaching faculty, students and staff on both sides of the Causeway, and extending to the communities beyond UC Davis and UC Davis Health. He also oversees the UC Davis Police Accountability Board, another model program systemwide and nationally.

He led the implementation of the campus’s Preferred Names Project and the institutionalization of the Anti-Bullying Training Program, another example of campus best practice embedded within the professional development for faculty and staff.

Read more on the Carvajal-Carmona and Villalobos appointments in this article by Laura Cerruti, chief impact officer, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Amit Kanvinde headshot, UC Davis faculty
Amit Kanvinde

Amit Kanvinde, professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named to a five-year term as associate dean for academic personnel and planning in the College of Engineering, effective July 1.

He will succeed Jeannie Darby, also a professor of civil and environmental engineering, who was appointed to the position for a limited term in the fall of 2022.

Kanvinde joined UC Davis in 2004 after earning Master of Science and doctoral degrees at Stanford University. He led the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as chair from 2015 to 2020 during a period of significant faculty hiring that resulted in greater diversity. He currently serves on the college’s Faculty Executive Committee.

His research focuses on the seismic response of steel buildings, and recent projects have developed methods to assess the fracture risk of existing buildings along with technologies for highly deformable structural connections for new buildings. In 2017, Kanvinde was selected by the National Academy of Engineering as one of "the nation’s brightest young engineers" to participate in its Frontiers of Engineering program.

Read more on Kanvinde’s appointment in this article by Molly Bechtel, interim director of communications and culture, in the marketing and communications unit, College of Engineering.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of appointments of various kinds for faculty and staff, for publication in Org Chart (formerly titled Transitions). Send information to

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Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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