Linda  Davidson-Ray's profile photo

Linda Davidson-Ray

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke Health Systems

Linda  Davidson-Ray's profile photo
Location: Pittsboro, NC
Start Year: 2023
TRHT Pillar: Economy


Linda is the inaugural director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) in Durham, North Carolina. She leads efforts to identify and oversee the development, implementation and strategies to strengthen DCRI’s DEI culture (people/practices/policies). This critical role is charged with enacting real and lasting changes in how DCRI addresses equality, equity, racial justice and social justice across the DCRI and the broader Duke community. 

She also directs sustainable change efforts in health equity and inclusion, leveraging real-world data—generated in the course of daily health care—to inform all aspects of the development, strategies and implementation of innovative and pragmatic research designs. In her role, Linda partners and collaborates with industry and government partners, clinical researchers and sites that are focused on methods to improve health equity. She also works with participants and community engagement teams, recognizing the importance of participant voice in clinical research. 

Previously, Linda served as the DCRI operation leader for the Anti-Racism and Health Equities Research team where she researched programs and policies fundamental to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in health research. She has co-authored more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national meetings on diversity and health economics. Linda holds a Master of Arts from Duke University, a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was recently certified in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Solutions through Opportunity Hub.


Future Focus

Linda will focus her exploration on strategies and implementation plans that can be deployed by academic clinical research organizations, government and industry partners to increase participation of underrepresented minorities (URM) and underrepresented employees (URE) in clinical trials. Her overarching goal is to help ensure that all people have a fair opportunity to attain their full health potential no matter their racial or ethnic background. She will utilize the academic clinical research organization framework as a tool to improve health equity research through participation and dissemination of knowledge for URM/URE and marginalized communities. Linda envisions exploring innovative strategies to customize diversity, equity and inclusion that could translate to modifiable and flexible plans for new scientific proposals and grants.


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