Lemuel W. Watson is associate vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion; provost professor in the School of Education; faculty affiliate in African American and African Diaspora Studies and Gender Studies; co-director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention; and senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. He is also a senior scholar fellow at the Antioch Graduate School of Leadership and Change and a research fellow at the Center for Comparative & International Education at the Research Institute of Higher Education at Yunnan University.
Lem helps oversee Kinsey's efforts to generate collaborative education, research, and fundraising related to LGBTQ+ lives and topics. This appointment includes research on LGBTQ+ youth mental health as part of the partnership between Kinsey and the Trevor Project, the world's most significant suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.
Recognized as a scholar and researcher on underrepresented populations, Lem is a seasoned leader whose career spans various industries, including educational, non-profit organizations, private, and entrepreneurship/small businesses. He has worked as a consultant on public policy and talent management issues worldwide. He has written books, monographs, and articles related to research on leadership, underrepresented populations, LGBTQ+, public policy, and human development. Lem also has secured grants totaling more than $13.5 million in research funding by an array of organizations. He has been deeply engaged with the community as a personal and professional advocate through numerous arts, community, educational, and professional boards.
Lem has a wealth of experience working with non-profit organizations through his international and local board commitments and currently focuses on mindful leadership and talent management to enhance work and learning environments. He is a distinguished professor, dean emeritus, and founding executive director of the Center for Innovation in Higher Education at the University of South Carolina and the former founding executive director of the Center for P-20 Engagement, and dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Lem is a former host of the South Carolina Educational Television series, Carolina Classrooms, and Fulbright Scholar to Belarus.