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Establishing Standards and Best Practices for the Clinical Trials Industry to Improve the Representation of Diverse Participants in Clinical Trials Through the Development, Integration, and Monitoring of Quality and Consistent Diversity Methodology Across the Research Industry

About Association of Diversity

The Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials is a diversity-focused organization based in Dallas, TX. Our experienced leadership team works to develop standards for enterprise-level diversity integration and planning for the industry. Since the passing of the Omnibus Spending Package, which requires diversity plans for clinical trials, the time is now to ensure representation for underrepresented populations in clinical trials. Partnering with us provides the tools and expertise needed to accomplish this goal.

Leadership Team

Dr. Jerome Adams

Jerome Adams, M.D. serves as the Chairman of the Board for The Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials. Adams also currently serves as Executive Director of Health Equity Initiatives at Purdue University. He formerly served as the 20th United States Surgeon General and as a member of the President’s COVID-19 task force, where he was at the forefront of America’s most pressing health challenges throughout the pandemic, including working with companies to increase diversity in vaccine trials. As the Chairman of the Board, Adams provides his in-depth knowledge of patient perspectives and industry views on diversity to create sustainable solutions and best practices to establish more diverse representation in clinical trials.

Dr. Diana Foster

Diana L. Foster, Ph.D. is the President and Chief Diversity Officer for the Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials and the Founder and CEO of TOTAL Diversity Clinical Trial Management, a full-service integrated diversity organization. From 2016 through 2022, Dr. Foster served as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Society of Clinical Research Sites (SCRS), where she authored the Diversity Site Assessment Tool (DSAT). Dr. Foster has written six industry books and several current research studies focused on site perspectives in diversity. Dr. Foster is a recognized thought leader and sought after expert in diversity and clinical site best practices.

Jewel Mullen

Jewel Mullen, M.D., MPH, MPA serves as Executive Advisor for the Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials. She also serves as Director of Health Equity at Ascension Seton, and Director of Health Equity and Quality at Central Health, the Travis County, Texas Health District. In each organization, she develops and implements strategies to embed health equity as an operating principal in education, research, clinical care, and community partnerships. For more than 30 years, Dr. Mullen has applied her expertise in medicine, epidemiology, public health and public administration to improve the health of all people, especially those who are underserved. 

Crystal Thigpen

Crystal Thigpen serves as the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials. She has more than 10 years of experience in developing plans to lead the launch of consistent, successful marketing programs that drive growth. As part of her role, she works with the leadership team to develop materials to elevate the Association of Diversity’s mission and vision.

Jeremy Mitchell

Jeremy Mitchell, MBA, serves as Director, Business Development for the Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials. He is a highly accomplished 25-year sales professional with a proven track record of success in driving revenue growth and exceeding sales targets. Jeremy is also a committed advocate for diversity and inclusion and is an active member of Minorities in Clinical Research, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the healthcare industry. Throughout Jeremy’s career, he’s consistently demonstrated his ability to build strong relationships with clients, deliver outstanding customer service, and create innovative solutions to meet their unique needs. 

Sophie Tahiri

Sophie Tahiri is a recent graduate from the University of Washington with a Masters in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Health Science in Clinical Leadership at George Washington University. She has worked in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in many capacities: as a middle school science teacher, chief scribe of an emergency department, TMS technician, and pediatric brain cancer researcher.

 In her role, Sophie is the client liaison and administrative support for the Association of Diversity. 

Diversity in Clinical Trials

One of the most important critical areas of development in the clinical trial industry today is the dramatic increase in interest and focus on the inclusion of diverse populations in clinical studies. The topic has been in the research domain for decades.  Still, the emphasis and impetus have never been greater to move beyond the conversation and highlight the need to operationalize and execute strategy to move the needle in this important area.

The topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion is of primary focus and significant importance to industry. Addressing the problem and a desire to take on an action-oriented approach to mitigate the lack of inclusion across therapeutic indications is of high interest.

Clinical trials often fail to represent the demographic diversity of populations that would benefit from the new drugs and medical devices under development.

Ways to Become A Member

Founding Partner
  • DTEACH Education Portfolio Licensing Package for One Year Unlimited Use

  • Co-Chair Seat on the Diversity Collaborative Committee (DCC)

  • Seat on the Diversity Advisory Board (DAB)

  • Consultative Advisement for Corporate Integration (Dr. Jerome Adams, Dr. Diana Foster)

  • Access to Site Planning and Regulatory SOPs

  • Marketing and Press Exposure on all AOD Activities

Supporting Partner
  • Co-Chair Seat on the Diversity Collaborative Committee (DCC)

  • Seat on the Diversity Advisory Board (DAB)

  • Consultative Advisement for Corporate Integration (Dr. Jerome Adams, Dr. Diana Foster)

  • Access to Site Planning and Regulatory SOPs

  • Marketing and Press Exposure on all AOD Activities

  • Annual Membership in AOD

  • Seat on the Diversity Collaborative Committee (DCC)

  • Recognition in Publications

  • Access to Newsletters, Journal, and Publications

  • Access to Latest Regulatory Updates Related to Diversity

“There is no time like the present to act on behalf of industry to develop standards, GCPs, and practices to guide and establish direction in this rapidly growing area of importance. Being involved in this groundbreaking step forward, I believe is critical to the path towards progress for participants of diverse backgrounds.”

– Dr. Jerome Adams, Chairman of the Board for the Association of Diversity, Former U.S. Surgeon General

Association of Diversity’s Importance to the Industry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeks to advance health equity in clinical research trials. The agency’s priority has important implications for Sponsors, CROs, and Clinical Sites, as shown by recent FDA diversity-related guidance and mandates. However, the FDA is not alone as a government agency advocating for health equity, but rather just one element of an integrated Health and Human Services (HHS) program. Racial and ethnic minorities are often underrepresented in human clinical trials, yet they bear a disproportionate burden for certain diseases. To address these disparities, the FDA created the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) to promote and protect the health of diverse populations through research and communication of science that addresses health disparities.

The apparent reality is this. The HHS definition of health equity is the common rally point for all sectors of the biomedical research community as well. The HHS definition of health equity fits with minor editing very well into the concept of health equity and inclusion for all clinical research participants. Jerome Adams, former U.S. Surgeon General and the Association’s Chairman of the Board of the AOD call to action has the sound of an alarm for the entire clinical research industry.  Action must be taken. The concept of training of health professionals by NIH fits conceptually with diversity training for research industry personnel (i.e., Sponsors, CROs, and Clinical Sites).

Establishing Standards and Best Practices for the Clinical Trials

Association of Diversity News

Bridging the Gap: The Power of Community Engagement in Clinical Research

Authors: Laquita Gilbert, MPH, Sophia Tahir, MS, Diana Foster, PH.D

Read Article


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