CUNA announced Monday the appointment of Samira Salem, Ph.D to the newly created position of Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In this role, Salem will lead the trade association in driving progress for achieving internal DEI goals, as well as programs and initiatives designed to fulfill CUNA’s Roadmap to Inclusion.
Salem recently served as the Senior Policy Analyst on the CUNA Research and Policy Analysis Team, focusing on analytics to support the organization’s advocacy efforts. Prior to joining CUNA, she worked for Forward Community Investments (FCI), a Madison-based community development financial institution (CDFI) that supports initiatives throughout Wisconsin that address racial, social, and economic inequities.
“We have been on a journey to advance DEI at CUNA and throughout the credit union industry and Samira has played a significant role in helping us articulate to policymakers the work that credit unions do to serve diverse communities,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “There is not a more passionate and suitable candidate to lead CUNA and credit unions as we promote inclusiveness and equity through the delivery of essential financial services to our members.”
Among other responsibilities, Salem will lead the fulfillment of CUNA’s DEI strategy roadmap; architect CUNA’s DEI Learning & Training efforts; lead CUNA’s internal DEI Advisory Group and Employee Engagement Group relations; and drive DEI metrics and data-driven insights.
“DEI is in the credit union DNA,” said Salem. “Advancing DEI makes our organizations and our movement stronger. It’s vital if we want to grow and continue to be relevant to our members and our communities in a changing marketplace. I am thrilled to lead this critical work within CUNA and support DEI across the industry."
Salem joined CUNA in 2018 and has nearly 20 years of experience in international economic development, community development, policy research, and social finance. She leads the CUNA DEI eSchool, which teaches credit union leaders how to how to create policies and procedures that promote a diverse workplace that can better serve the changing U.S. population and how to champion their organization’s DEI program.
Reporting to CUNA Chief Operating Officer, Jill Tomalin, Salem will continue to serve as the external DEI subject matter expert on behalf of CUNA.