Keynote Speaker

CAAHP 2023 Keynote Speaker
Sunny Nakae, MSW, PhD

Sunny Nakae


Dr. Nakae is the Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, and Partnership, and Associate Professor of Medical Education at the California University of Science and Medicine. Prior to joining CUSM she served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine where she holds an adjunct appointment as Associate Professor of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health. Dr. Nakaeā€™s previous roles have included a broad scope of admissions, recruitment, student life, diversity, education, outreach and pipeline programs at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and the University of Utah. Dr. Nakae completed a BS and MSW at the University of Utah, and a PhD in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago. She is the author of Premed Prep: Advice from a Medical School Admissions Dean, from Rutgers University Press.

Dr. Nakae works with national organizations to increase access and equity in higher education for undocumented, underrepresented, minoritized, and marginalized students, trainees, and practitioners. She is known for her expertise in mission-driven, intersectional, holistic review processes. Dr. Nakae is dedicated to improving inclusive institutional excellence through co-liberatory equity practice. Her scholarship centers on access, equity, diversity, and outcomes across the spectrum of premedical preparation through faculty development in medical education. She is passionate about campus and community partnerships, cultural humility, structural justice, antiracism, physician wellbeing, and health inequality.