top of page

Claudia Mitchell-Kernan


Professor Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, PhD, Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies Emerita, Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Psychiatry Emerita, who has over 40 years of higher education development expertise and as an administrator in higher education. Dr. Mitchell-Kernan has had a wide breadth of international experience over the course of her multifaceted career. She has been a part of research and education projects in Samoa, Belize, Jamaica, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Senegal, Zimbabwe and Mali. She is an anthropologist by discipline with vast experience in higher education administration.

She served as UCLA Dean and Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies, where as head of the Graduate Division she had responsibility for graduate admissions, graduate student financial support, graduate academic affairs, and the periodic assessment of UCLA’s doctoral and masters and degree programs. She has also held administrative positions as Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Director of the Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies.

Dr. Mitchell-Kernan has had extensive experience on the boards of professional organizations, national and federal agencies dealing with research, education, and human resources. For 12 years, she served on the Board of Deans of the Africa-America Institute’s Atlas Program. During her six years on the National Science Board (a U.S. Presidential appointment) she was a member of the Education and Human Resources sub-committee and Chair of the sub-committee on Science and Engineering Indicators. She has also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Educational Testing Service’s, Graduate Record Examination, a requirement for application to graduate school at most U.S. universities and on the board of directors of the National Academies of Science, Board of Higher Education and Workforce. She has been a Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator for grants awarded by The National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USAID, the Ford Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Institute of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council and the Clark Fund.

For her professional and community service she has been the recipient of certificates of recognition from the City of Los Angeles, the State of California Legislative Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, the State of California Senate and has been a Dean in Residence at the National Science Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She also received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University, a distinguished service award from the Caribbean Studies Association and was a recipient of the UCLA University ​Service Award. She is the past president of the UCLA Faculty Center Association. She has written and co-edited four books and her publications in linguistic anthropology, interracial marriage, and marriage and family formation are widely cited. Before coming to UCLA, she was a member of the faculty at Harvard University.

bottom of page