Who We Are

Antonio Farias

Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Advisor to the President

Antonio Farias arrived at the University of Florida from Wesleyan University in 2018. As the University of Florida's first chief diversity officer, Farias is charged with supporting an environment in which all members of the university community can achieve their goals. At Wesleyan, where he served since 2013 as the vice president for equity and inclusion/Title IX officer, Farias worked closely with the offices of academic affairs, admissions, student affairs and university relations on issues of inclusion and equity as they relate to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, political affiliation and national origin in the areas of recruitment, admission, retention, hiring, promotion and fundraising. He was responsible for maintaining proper university reporting procedures and policies as they pertain to federal and state laws. A veteran himself, he successfully inaugurated the Posse Veteran Scholars Program and was an ardent supporter of TRIO Upward Bound Math Science and Ronald E. McNair Scholars as well as Mellon Mays Undergraduate Scholars.

From 2005 to 2013, Farias was the inaugural chief diversity officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where he helped develop a metrics-driven and values-centered inclusion and diversity plan for the Academy that eventually shaped strategy for the 47,000-member organization. He also developed faculty and student retention programs for people of color, first-generation students, women, LGBTQ, and members of various faith/non-faith backgrounds; implemented water-borne robotic pre-orientation programs for first-generation and students of color; and conducted inclusion and diversity workshops throughout the Coast Guard leadership framework. Prior to joining the Academy, he held adjunct lecturer and administrative positions at Mercy College, Hunter College and Colgate University, all in New York State.

A marathoner and avid fly fisherman, he holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and a master’s degree in comparative ethnic studies, both from the University of California, Berkeley. He later earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside. His guiding principle is difference in the service of democracy.


Brigit Dermott

Executive Assistant to the Chief Diversity Officer

Brigit provides administrative support to the chief diversity officer, including calendar and office management. Brigit has worked at the university since 2011 and was previously administrative coordinator in the College of Public Health and Health Professions' Office of the Dean and executive assistant in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining the university, Brigit worked as an editor in New York City for publishers including Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Scribner's. 

Brigit holds a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell University.


Email: bdermott@ufl.edu

Phone: 352-294-6917

Mail: PO Box 118040, Gainesville, FL 32611-8040