Dr. Derrick Gay is an internationally recognized consultant to educational, artistic and philanthropic organizations around the world on issues of diversity, inclusion and global citizenship. Dr. Gay collaborates with education thought leaders to foster empathy, enrich inclusion and cultivate cultural competency.
Dr. Gay served as senior administrator at the Nightingale-Bamford School (NY), taught at the Groton School (MA), Wilmington Friends (DE) and The Masters School (NY), and served as dean of students at L’Academie de Paris in Paris, France. He is a proud graduate of Oberlin College (BA in Romance Languages), Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM in Opera) and Columbia University (MA, Klingenstein Program, Educational Leadership in Independent Schools). Dr. Gay recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research interests explored the ways in which social identity mediates the academic and social experience of students in schools.
Equally comfortable and effective working with students, faculty and staff, parents, administrators and boards, Dr. Gay has partnered with scores of schools in wide-ranging work such as facilitating parent meetings and workshops, conducting inclusivity assessments, guiding administrative teams through strategic community planning, presenting workshops to Lower School, Middle School and Upper School students, training boards on issues of community life, delivering keynotes to regional consortia and providing faculty and staff professional development.
Recognizing the 21st-century reality of an interconnected global society, Dr. Gay intentionally deepens his own cultural competency through language study and extensive travel. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, and has pursued studies in Latin, Korean and German. Dr. Gay has recorded the audio exercises for Breaking the Barrier in English, French and Spanish. He has lived and worked in Argentina, Belgium, Spain, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Turkey, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Jamaica, Guadalupe, Lebanon, Uganda, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Music has always been a vital part of Dr. Gay's life since the age of 7. He trained as a violinist, violist, vocalist as well as an orchestral and choral conductor at the MERIT School of Music, a conservatory in Chicago, IL that leverages music to promote peace and inclusion. His later studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, an institution renowned for its long-standing commitment to inclusion, followed in this vein. Mr. Gay regards his current work as a continuation of the values instilled in him throughout his education and often incorporates music into student programs in addition to moderating discussions between young international musicians on the intersection of music and peace. As a vocalist, Dr. Gay also maintains an active operatic and oratorio career.