Longtime Oak Bluffs resident Andrea Taylor has been named the first senior diversity officer at Boston University, the university website BU Today announced.

Ms. Taylor will begin work in the newly-created position August 17, after stepping down from the university board of trustees, on which she has served since 2009.

She is one of nine Boston University graduates in her family, including both parents and an uncle, who came from West Virginia to continue their educations in an era when graduate schools were closed to them in the segregated South.

Her mother, the late Della Brown Taylor Hardman, was a writer, artist and active volunteer for Island causes who wrote the Oak Bluffs column for the Gazette. Ms. Hardman is celebrated annually at the Della Hardman Day event in Oak Bluffs, established after her death in 2005.

After graduating from BU in 1968, Ms. Taylor worked as a reporter for the Boston Globe and went on to positions at WGBH, the Ford Foundation, Microsoft and most recently the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama, where she was president and CEO for five years.

Her civil rights work began while she was still a teenager. According to the report, she postponed her job interview at the Globe in order to join the African-American student group in an organized occupation of the BU administration building in 1968.

In 1963, she accompanied her uncle to the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King and John Lewis spoke. Fifty-five years later, as a BU trustee, she would share the stage with Mr. Lewis, that year’s commencement speaker, as he received an honorary degree.

Her first task as senior diversity officer, according to the report, is to form an anti-racism working group of leaders from across the university, to examine policies affecting diversity, inclusion and equity for students, educators and staff.

Ms. Taylor will report directly to university president Robert A. Brown.