Toombs joins Mason in dual role as director of Mid-Atlantic HERC and diversity outreach


Dwala Toombs has been appointed director for the Mid-Atlantic Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) and diversity outreach for George Mason University. In this role she will work with colleagues to continue to increase diversity outreach for Mason and other local affiliated employers.

Toombs will lead Human Resources and Payroll’s diversity initiatives, job fairs, and dual career program, and will provide guidance to the Mason community on diversity issues. In collaboration with the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, Toombs will work to develop a comprehensive affirmative action plan and ensure the university remains compliant with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements.

George Mason University became the host institution for the Mid-Atlantic Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) in summer 2018. The Mid-Atlantic HERC is a regional affiliate of the nonprofit HERC organization, which is devoted to the advancement of equity and inclusion, the support of dual-career couples and the promotion of equity and excellence in higher education recruitment throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

“Bringing Dwala Toombs on board as the director of the Mid-Atlantic HERC positions the university to continue to be a leader in the diverse and inclusive recruitment of faculty and staff,” said Shernita Parker, interim vice president of human resources, payroll and faculty and staff life. “Dwala’s work specifically aligns with Mason’s strategic goals and helps put energy and effort into ensuring we can work to attract and retain talent that is representative of the wonderful diversity of the students on our campus and in the national capital region. Her knowledge and experience in this arena will be an asset to Mid-Atlantic HERC members and the university.”

Toombs looks forward to working with her colleagues to continue to increase diversity outreach for Mason along with other local affiliated employers. 

“Improving outreach will help strengthen the diversity and inclusiveness that is needed in our academic community and make it even more reflective of the diversity we have in our area,” said Toombs, who began her position in January.

Prior to taking on this role, Toombs worked closely with Human Resources and Payroll staff as a temporary employee, helping to prepare the university for an external audit. She facilitated gathering recruitment materials and reports to use for the audit.

Toombs said she felt she was a fit for this role and the Mason community as soon as she stepped on campus. “I started wearing Mason gear as a temporary employee because I knew this is where I wanted to work.”

Toombs’s undergraduate degree in business management, coupled with her experience in human resources, has provided her with the knowledge and skills needed for this opportunity. Working in the nonprofit industry, private industry and state government, Toombs brings experience from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to the table. This includes working closely with the OFCCP and with EEOC investigators to close OFCCP audits and resolve employee complaints.

These experiences help her see both sides of an issue and have further increased her awareness of the need to ensure employers improve equity and increase diversity of thought and demographics through recruiting, staffing, EEO and affirmative action planning and training.

“The energy I feel from belonging to such a great university community makes me want to go out and showcase Mason to other institutions,” Toombs said.