St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announces Dr. Yolanda Alovor as inaugural Vice President of External Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

New position will lead integration of EDI framework across SLSO portfolio, engage key stakeholders and partners in St. Louis and beyond, and oversee institutional communications

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(January 4, 2022, St. Louis, MO) – Today, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard announced the appointment of Yolanda "Yoli" Alovor, Ph.D., as the institution's first Vice President of External Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Marie-Hélène Bernard, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra President and CEO, said, "Dr. Alovor is a proven leader in EDI, as well as a superb communicator and community connector. She is a results-oriented leader who has a track record of establishing rapport with diverse constituencies at all levels. I know she will be a strong advisor to me, our Board, and team as we chart a path toward becoming a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive institution. We are committed to learning from Yoli's expertise in the same way the SLSO is committed to listening to and learning from the St. Louis community. On behalf of our entire SLSO family, I am excited to welcome Yoli back to St. Louis, her hometown, and look forward to beginning our work together."

Yolanda Alovor, SLSO Vice President of External Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, said, "I am honored to join a renowned St. Louis institution that has a global reputation for extraordinary music, but also is revered for their exceptional leadership and community engagement. I am looking forward to working with Marie-Hélène Bernard and my colleagues at the SLSO."

Yolanda AlovorThis newly created executive level position oversees the SLSO's ongoing work toward equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), providing strategic leadership to the entire SLSO family on all aspects of the institution's growing EDI portfolio. Alovor will also oversee SLSO External Affairs and Communications functions, aligning those departments with SLSO strategic plan objectives and EDI framework. She will provide strategic guidance to elevate the profile of the institution locally, nationally, and globally.

A St. Louis native and graduate of Webster Groves High School, Alovor brings a wealth of experience in EDI implementation and community partnership development. Most recently, she served as the Chief of Staff and Vice President of Diversity and Belonging at Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she guided complex and confidential management in support of the strategic mission of the college, provided critical insight for campus projects, and led Diversity and Belonging initiatives that helped drive business and administrative functions. In her leadership role, she led grassroots efforts with internal and external collaborators to build the college's first Diversity and Belonging Department and campus strategic plan. She also launched leadership initiatives to foster belonging and managed internal and external communications.

Previously, she served as a Health Research Project Manager for Centene's Research Center for Health Transformation. In this role, Alovor developed, implemented, and maintained applied health research projects for the Centene Center for Health Transformation based on behavioral economic principles. She also served as a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, leading graduate-level education and social justice courses dealing with diversity and inclusion.

In 2015, Bernard led work to create an EDI roadmap for the SLSO, including it as a key component in the SLSO's 2016-2021 strategic plan. As part of this work, the SLSO created an internal EDI task force and provided training for musicians, staff, and board members. Alovor's appointment is another step toward full development and implementation of the SLSO's EDI framework.

Alovor holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and recently completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley's Intercultural Leadership Program: Global DEI Practitioner Institute. She will return to her hometown of St. Louis where her extended family and son, a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology, reside.

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as a leading American orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 142nd year with the 2021/2022 season and its third with Music Director Stéphane Denève. The SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations, honoring its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

The SLSO serves as a convener of individuals, creators, and ideas, and is committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences. As it continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, the SLSO embraces its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit

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