Dr. Dionne Wright Poulton is Chief Diversity Officer at Care New England Health System in the State of Rhode Island where she oversees all diversity, equity and inclusion endeavors involving over 7,000 employees and many thousands of patients served each year at three hospitals and in several healthcare facilities across the system.
Dr Poulton is a leading expert on diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias, and transformational adult learning and behavior with special emphasis in addressing, mitigating and solving intercultural conflicts and incidents of unconscious bias in the workplace. A formally trained K-12 teacher with a Ph.D. in Adult Education, she has over 20 years of experience conceptualizing and creating innovative and research-based workshops, course curriculum, and on and off-site immersive programs for countless workplace leaders and employees. Formally trained in discourse analysis and conflict mediation, Dr Poulton also has extensive experience and sound ability to investigate, analyze and solve the most difficult and complex situations—especially those involving issues of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, and nationality.
Dr Poulton has been featured in Forbes for her work, and she is author of the acclaimed book, It’s Not Always Racist...but Sometimes It Is: Reshaping How We Think About Racism (2014, Archway Publishing). Renowned book critic, Kirkus Media said, “This important book shows readers what such a lively but civil dialogue could look like.” She has also received national and international recognition for her work—training leaders and employees around the world, including across the United States, Canada, France, and Bermuda. Industries to which she has consulted and trained in include, technology, advertising, media, retail, banking, non-profits, entertainment, K-12 schools, insurance, higher education, sports, government, social groups, health care, and social services. She has also been invited for social commentary and ad hoc writing assignments for media outlets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and is also host of the popular radio show, The Dr. Dionne Show, which focuses on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond.
Dionne holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia, a Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies in Adult Education with special emphasis in Equity and Social Justice from San Francisco State University, a Bachelor of Education Degree (teaching certification) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences from Rice University where she earned her degree while competing as an NCAA Division 1 track and field scholarship athlete.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dionne currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters.