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Dr. Arvenita W. Cherry

Vice President, DE&I, and President and Chairperson, Maximus Foundation

Dr. Cherry is vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) and Maximus Foundation president and chairperson of the Board of Directors. She joined Maximus in September 2020 to lead the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and has served the Foundation as president and as chairperson since October 2022 and May 2023, respectively. As vice president, she is responsible for developing, leading, and implementing a comprehensive DE&I strategy in alignment with the company’s mission and strategic initiatives. In this role, she partners across the business to support and deliver programs and initiatives that attract, retain, and grow a diverse talent pool. Dr. Cherry provides services and solutions to enable a more engaged, inclusive workforce and work environment.

Dr. Cherry’s DE&I lens and previous experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors help to inform her role as president and chairperson of the Maximus Foundation. She leads corporate giving for the company and is instrumental in increasing social impact through thought leadership, engagement, and support of charitable organizations that actively uplift communities and improve the quality of life of the same under-resourced populations served by Maximus.

Dr. Cherry is a sociocultural and educational anthropologist. As a scholar and consultant, she has worked on social justice issues for over 19 years, supporting nonprofit and for-profit organizations, museums, philanthropy, and education. She has designed and taught many undergraduate and graduate courses and is on the faculty at American University as a public anthropologist in residence.

Dr. Cherry received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in anthropology with a concentration in race, gender, and social justice with the highest honor of distinction from American University. She earned a Master of Arts degree in public anthropology, also from American University, and a graduate certificate in nonprofit studies from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Cherry also holds a Master of Teaching in middle and secondary biology and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Hampton University. She completed a competitive post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the Department of Africana Studies and with the Language, Literacy, and Culture Program, as well as a Scholar-in-Residence Program at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center.

She loves to read, watch documentaries, travel, do genealogical research and is a Peloton enthusiast. Arvenita is married to Richard Cherry, and they have two sons, a daughter and an English bulldog.