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St. Jude names Lori Spicer Robertson chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer

Nationally recognized thought leader and Memphis native becomes institution’s second DEI leader

Memphis, Tennessee, December 13, 2022

Lori Spicer Robertson

Lori Spicer Robertson is vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has named Lori Spicer Robertson vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. In this role, she oversees the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), which helps ensure these principles remain at the heart of institutional operations and culture.

Spicer Robertson joined St. Jude this fall with the retirement of founding DEI Officer Kelvin Womack earlier in the year. She will build on established programs, such as institution-wide DEI training, employee and ally resource groups, and the St. Jude High School Research Immersion Program, among other initiatives.

“The work of St. Jude answers challenging questions in science and pediatric medicine,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and CEO. “An intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion ensures an array of ideas, experiences and voices are represented in service of this mission. We are pleased to welcome Lori to the senior leadership team and look forward to collaborating on ways to further strengthen a culture that encourages innovation and belonging.”

Most recently, Spicer Robertson was vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Saks Fifth Avenue and, where she designed a more inclusive experience for employees, customers and partners.

“My family operates under the motto, ‘Live in your vision, not your circumstances,’” said Spicer Robertson. “The late entertainer Danny Thomas founded St. Jude on that kind of audacious hope, and I am honored to play a part in advancing the institution’s legacy of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Prior to Saks Fifth Avenue, Spicer Robertson founded the DEI Collective in Memphis, a cross-industry collaborative of DEI leaders dedicated to creating a more just workplace and world. She also launched Wundher, an experiential platform and membership community for women and mothers.

A Memphis native, Spicer Robertson has held leadership positions with United Way of the Mid-South, First Horizon National Corp. and Regional Medical Center (now called Regional One Health). She also taught business communication as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis.

Spicer Robertson has received numerous awards for her work, including being named to the Memphis Business Journal’s 2022 Class of 40 Under 40.


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening disorders. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 60 years ago. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. To learn more, visit, read St. Jude Progress, a digital magazine, and follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.