ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Monday announced the hiring of China Jude as Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
In a newly created role for the organization, Jude will work closely with football, business and community leadership on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. She will also work directly with the human resources and community development departments, focusing on recruitment, hiring processes, overall workplace environment and external outreach.
In addition to leading the organization's overall DEI strategy and representing the team as an external ambassador on social justice initiatives, Jude will guide the team's internal DEI committee as it hosts regular organization-wide programming. She will report directly to Brittany Bowlen, who has been named Senior Vice President of Strategy.
"When we announced the Broncos Inspire Change program at the beginning of last season, we began searching for someone who not only makes the Broncos leaders in the industry for DEI, but could add significant value to the Denver community," Bowlen said. "Throughout the interview process, China Jude passionately demonstrated how advancing DEI initiatives will help the Broncos win on and off the field.
"China has been recognized nationally as a college administrator as well as a leader in the DEI space, and we are looking forward to her bringing her expertise to the Broncos."
"I am extremely grateful to Joe Ellis, George Paton and the rest of the Broncos leadership team for selecting me for this opportunity," Jude said. "One of the attractive things about this position is the organization-wide investment in making a positive commitment to DEI. I'm ready to work closely with Brittany and roll up my sleeves to share ideas of how we can continue to create meaningful change within the organization and community."
Jude, who has more than 23 years of collegiate athletic administration and coaching experience, most recently worked as the University of Wyoming's Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration/Senior Woman Administrator (SWA). During her three years at Wyoming, she oversaw sports medicine, sports performance and nutrition, strategic planning, gender equity and diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the volleyball and soccer programs.
As the SWA, Jude represented the athletic department on the Mountain West Conference Nominating Committee, served as Sports Liaison to Women's Soccer and chaired the SWAs. She was named to the 10th annual Sports Business Journal (SBJ) Game Changers: Women in Sports Business Class of 2020 and was named the 2019 Women Leaders in College Sports Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year.
At Wyoming, Jude created strategies on addressing sexual assault/violence, served as Chair of the University Wide Black 14 Commemoration Week and coordinated the celebration of women who competed prior to Title IX. She also strengthened Wyoming's diversity and inclusion recruitment and professional development programming, leading to an 8 percent increase in ethnic minority and female staffers in under-represented areas.
In addition, Jude served on the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Committee and is the President of the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association (MOAA). She is also the former Chair of the NCAA Minority Opportunities Interest Committee (MOIC) and founder of the Women of Color (WoC) Athletics Director Network.
The LEAD1 Association, which represents the athletics directors of the 130-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision, tabbed Jude this past year as one of two co-chairs to lead a working group to explore DEI initiatives within collegiate athletics. The committee formally recommended ways to strengthen senior leadership pipelines, expand professional development opportunities, influence legislation that supports underrepresented populations and implement strategies of accountability.
Before joining Wyoming, Jude spent more than seven years as Assistant Vice President and Athletics Director at Queens College — the fourth largest college in the nation at the NCAA Division II level — in New York City (2011-18). Under Jude's leadership, Queens College won seven East Coast Conference Championships and six NCAA Regional Championships while student-athletes achieved a four-year graduation average of 75 percent and a 91 percent retention rate.
Prior to her time at Queens College, Jude was the Athletics Director and Department Chairperson at NCAA Division II member Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (2007-11). She began her sports administration career at Coppin State University in Baltimore in 2001, holding titles of Assistant Athletic Director, Senior Women Administrator and Director of Compliance before leaving in 2005 to return to coaching.
Jude, a collegiate volleyball player at Alabama State University, brings additional experience as a former volleyball head coach and assistant coach. She led coaching staffs at the University of the District of Columbia (2006-07) and University of North Carolina Wilmington (1999-01) and was an assistant coach at the University of West Florida from 2005-06.
A native of Waukegan, Illinois, Jude completed her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Alabama State in 1994. She earned a master's degree in sports administration and marketing from the United States Sports Academy in 1996 and completed her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in athletic administration from Northcentral University in 2017.
Jude also received an Executive Certificate, Diversity & Inclusion for Human Resources, Cornell University (September 2020). She served in the U.S. Naval Reserves, earning an honorable discharge.