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Elena Olson is the Executive Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Massachusetts General Hospital (“CDI”). Under her leadership the CDI has evolved into a full service central resource, which works with hospital and Harvard Medical School leadership, graduate medical education, as well as clinical and research departments at Mass General. The mission of CDI is to help advance the careers of physicians, researchers, and students who are underrepresented in medicine, as well as to develop culturally competent physicians at MGH.
Ms. Olson practiced as a civil and commercial litigator in San Francisco and Boston for 8 years before joining CDI in August, 2000. She received her BA in International Affairs with a minor in Biology from Goucher College in 1987. After working as a paralegal and legal interpreter in Washington, DC for two years, she received her JD degree from Santa Clara University School of Law, California in 1992, with an emphasis on Human Rights. In 1991, she also received a Certificate from the International Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Her family is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Ms. Olson was born and raised. Ms. Olson, who is trilingual in English, Spanish, and French, has been involved in numerous initiatives with the underrepresented communities where she has lived.
Ms. Olson currently serves on various MGH boards and hospital-wide committees that involve faculty development, diversity and inclusion: including the Advisory Councils for the Center for Faculty Development and Office for Women’s Careers, Executive Committee on Research, Executive Committee on Community Health, Diversity Committee, Healthcare Disparities Committee, and Boston Public Schools Partnerships Advisory Board. She also leads the MGH departmental diversity leaders group, which brings diversity leaders from across departments together, and has helped lead MGH strategic planning efforts focused on community health and workforce training and development. Among her activities outside the hospital, she serves on the Board of Overseers for the 21st Century Fund (a non-profit education incubator for Brookline Public High School), Board of Directors of the YWCA Boston, as a Team Captain for Boston’s Walk for Hunger, and led a strategic planning effort to improve health and nutrition in the Brookline Public Schools. She is also a 2003 alumni of Lead Boston, a leadership and social justice program currently sponsored by the YWCA Boston, and the Partnership, Inc’s Next Generation Executive Program class of 2011. She is interested in topics of social equity, especially in education and healthcare, and has helped design curricula and facilitates trainings in multicultural teamwork and communication for residents, nurses and faculty in academic medicine.
Currently, Ms. Olson lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons who are bi-cultural and bilingual.
Elena B. Olson, JD Executive Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion Massachusetts General Hospital 55 Fruit Street, Bulfinch 123 Boston, MA 02114 Tel.: 617-724-3831, Fax: 617-724-6591
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