Achievements & Awards Cariology, Restorative Sciences & Endodontics Diversity & Inclusion Faculty

School of Dentistry Associate Dean Todd Ester is chair-elect of American Dental Education Association4 min read

March 20, 2024

School of Dentistry Associate Dean Todd Ester is chair-elect of American Dental Education Association4 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., March 20, 2024 – Dr. Todd Ester, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, is the new Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

Dr. Todd Ester

The national organization of dental schools and related programs announced new officers during its annual national convention in New Orleans this week. Members of ADEA include all 80 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, approximately 55 corporations and about 15,000 individuals. ADEA’s focus on academic dentistry includes a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty and leadership development, education and publications, including the peer-reviewed Journal of Dental Education

Dr. Ester has been active in ADEA for more than 30 years, as a dental student, graduate student, faculty member and endodontist practicing in Detroit. In his nomination materials for the ADEA chair-elect position, he noted his service to the organization has included numerous committees and assignments, including on the Council of Sections and co-chair of the Diversity, Inclusion Advisory Committee. He was part of the ADEA Collaborative on Dental Education Climate Assessment; the ADEA President’s Symposium on Men of Color in the Health Professions; and the  Special Committee on “New Century, New Thinking: Preparing for the Next 100 Years.” In addition, he has been a speaker and thought leader on various topics at numerous conferences and webinars.

Ester said he looks forward to working on many issues ADEA will address in coming years, including: Wellness and belonging for students, faculty and staff; sustainability of dental, advanced education and allied programs; leadership development and academic enrichment for faculty, students and staff; more diverse, equitable and inclusive communities for all members; licensure reform and portability for graduates, including allied health professionals; and technology and innovation related to artificial intelligence, virtual learning and telehealth.

“The opportunity to serve as your chair-elect will give me a chance to continue to build upon the legacy of so many amazing leaders of ADEA with compassion, excellence, innovation and creativity,” Ester said.

In addition to his role as Associate Dean at the dental school, he holds an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics. His responsibilities as associate dean include leadership and initiatives that increase diversity and cultural awareness at the school, across campus and at the state and national levels. As an advisor to the school’s leadership, he focuses on creating a supportive environment to serve a diverse community of patients, students and faculty. He advocates on institutional issues that relate to diversity, cultural sensitivity and health equities to support cultural competency.

Ester earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; his DDS degree and specialty certificate in Endodontics from U-M; and a master’s in health education from the University of Pacific. He was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Dentists in 2022.

His work in the DEI area at the dental school is a continuation of his longstanding commitment dating to the 1990s. He was a lecturer and recruitment officer for the dental school’s Minority Affairs office before becoming the school’s Director of Multicultural Affairs from 1999 to 2006. After leaving to focus on his private endodontics practice in Detroit, he rejoined the school in 2014 as Director of Diversity and Inclusion, with the promotion to assistant dean in 2018.

The University of Michigan presented Ester with is Harold R. Johnson Diversity Award in 2023. He was one of six U-M faculty members who were honored for service that goes above and beyond their regular duties and contributes to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral healthcare education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.