Dr. Gene Batiste serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at St. John’s School, in Houston, Texas. He also has a thriving consultancy specializing in engagement, DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging), leadership, and organizational development in independent schools, higher education, and nonprofits.
From 2013 to 2015 Dr. Batiste served as Executive Director at Independent Education (IE), now the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW). In this role he led a team that provided professional development, networking, advocacy, and other services to a diverse community of 70+ independent schools serving 33,000 students in the Washington, D.C. capital region. From 2000 to 2013 Dr. Batiste served as Vice President for Professional Development and School Field Services & Equity and Justice Initiatives at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). He served as Assistant Head of School and Upper School Director at Crossroad School in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Batiste was a member of the faculty, grade level dean, Director of Multicultural Initiatives, and Director of the Dennard Visiting Scholars program at St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas from 1990 to 1999. He served on the faculty of three high schools in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) from 1981 to 1989, including Social Science Department Chair at Hillcrest High School. In 1989 Dr. Batiste received DISD’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
He holds a B.S. degree in the social sciences, summa cum laude, from Wiley College, (a historically Black College/University) a M.Ed. degree, Phi Delta Kappa, in urban education and public school administration from North Texas State University, and an Ed.D. degree in educational and organization leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Batiste’s dissertation study was titled, Toward an Understanding of the Role of Relational Trust for New Heads of Independent Schools.
For 19 years Batiste was a principal artist and chorister with The Dallas Opera while serving on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Board for ten years. He is a founding member of the Board of Trustees and vice chair emeritus for the School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL), a semester program for upper school juniors located in Washington, D.C. Batiste also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Mid Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association (MAESA). He serves on the advisory board of the Arts Incubator of Richardson, an organization for nurturing artists and innovative thinkers in Richardson, Texas. He served on the vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (DC) and his community service includes volunteering at Charlie’s Place, a St. Margaret’s soup kitchen and service agency for the homeless and unemployed.
Dr. Batiste comes from a military family, having lived in Japan, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and San Antonio, Texas. He and his husband, Scott Honeychurch, a nursing administrator at George Washington University Hospital, live in Washington, D.C. and Houston, Texas with their Welsh Terrier named “Bravo.”