President Cordano announced on March 29 that Dr. Laurene Simms has been appointed as the first permanent Chief Bilingual Officer (CBO) of Gallaudet University. She has served in this role on an interim basis since January 2020.  

Dr. Laurene Simms

As CBO, Dr. Simms leads the ongoing implementation of the bilingual framework at Gallaudet University and supports all related activities. A long-time faculty member in the Education program within the School of Language, Education, and Culture, Dr. Simms has substantial hands-on experience in the implementation of bilingual and multicultural educational environments for diverse deaf and hard of hearing children, and is an acknowledged expert on the topic of using American Sign Language and English as the languages of instruction. Earlier in her career, Dr. Simms was a teacher and administrator at Indiana School for the Deaf, and an interpreter educator at Western Oregon University. 

President Cordano expressed her appreciation to the co-chairs and members of the Chief Bilingual Officer search committee. This committee was led by Dr. Deborah Chen Pichler and Ms. Brandi Rarus. Community and stakeholder input played a significant role in President Cordano’s decision.

Dr. Simms’ appointment is effective immediately.

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