The Office of Academic Affairs & Diversity is housed in the Office of the Director, LDEO and has the twin focus areas of:

  1. Enabling better representation of women and minorities among the scientific staff at LDEO

  2. Developing policies and procedures for academic affairs such as appointments and promotions, awards and recognition, salary structures, bylaws and governance, and the advancement of junior scientists and postdoctoral scientists


Dr. Dutt participates in the following areas of LDEO and CU leadership:


  1. LDEO Executive Committee (ExCom): This committee deals with all policy and programmatic issues associated with future directions of the Observatory. For more details click here.

  2. Columbia University Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): A body of the Columbia Senate, the commission works on issues impacting the status, equity and advancement of women in the workplace. For details click here

  3. Task Force on Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion (REI), Columbia University Office of University Life: This task force works to identify issues and develop responses that address student experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom. For more details click here

  4. LDEO Promotions & Careers Subcommittee (P&C): This committee assesses the present research performance of the Observatory. For details click here.

  5. LDEO Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee: This committee selects the top candidates for the LDEO Postdoctoral Fellowships. For more details click here.

  6. LDEO Associate Directors Council (ADC): This group deals with the day to day management of the Observatory and provides counsel to the Director.

  7. LDEO Annual Performance Review: This committee assesses the performance of the scientific staff and recommends merit-based salary increases

  8. LDEO Excellence in Mentoring Award: This award recognizes a member of the Lamont research staff for mentoring of juniors

  9. Lamont Campus Life Committee: This committee reviews and recommends improvements to policies, procedures and facilities pertaining to the general quality of life on the Lamont Campus.

  10. Marie Tharp Visiting Fellowship: This award brings outstanding women earth scientists to Columbia University for a period of three months. For more information click on Funding Opportunities

  11. All search committees for Officers of Research: These groups make decisions pertaining to hiring new research staff at LDEO. The Office of Academic Affairs & Diversity provides guidelines and support to these committees. For more details go to Search Committees

  12. All Ad-Hoc committees (equivalent of tenure-review) for senior staff appointments at LDEO.

Dr. Kuheli Dutt is the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs & Diversity at 
LDEO, and in this role serves as the Diversity Officer for Lamont. She has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and extensive experience in developing programs and initiatives for faculty development and diversity. 


Dr. Dutt’s research focuses on gender issues, implicit bias and diversity in the sciences. Dr. Dutt’s paper on Gender Differences in Recommendation Letters for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Geoscience was published in Nature Geoscience (October 2016). Dr. Dutt’s book, Women in the Geosciences was published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Wiley Publishers in 2015. Dr. Dutt’s work has received wide media coverage and includes venues such as: NPR Science Friday; Huffington Post; Scientific American; Nature; Science;  Eos (AGU);  Inside Higher Ed;  Physics World;  Ars Technica;  The Verge;  Smithsonian; El Español;  Time;  Fortune;  EurekAlert, and others.