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Mayor Gloria Announces Hire of City’s First Chief Race and Equity Officer


Friday, July 2, 2021



Kim Desmond

SAN DIEGO – Continuing his efforts to ensure the City of San Diego is making decisions with a focus on equity, Mayor Todd Gloria today announced the appointment Kim Desmond to serve as the City’s first Chief Race and Equity Officer.

Desmond, who is currently the Chief Equity Officer for the City and County of Denver, will lead the City’s recently created Office of Race and Equity and assume the role on Aug. 3.

“From day one, my administration has sought to put equity front and center, and now we are solidifying that objective with the hiring of Kim Desmond as our city’s first Chief Race and Equity Officer,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “For too long, the decisions and policies coming out of City Hall have not served all of us. Equity is about making sure everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Kim will help ensure all of the decisions we make are filtered through the lens of equity and that we end the disparities that exist within our City government.”

Established in June 2020 after the murder of George Floyd and a national outcry for racial justice, the Office of Race and Equity was proposed by Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe as a deliberate step to advance racial and social equity in the City of San Diego.

“Kim Desmond’s appointment as the new Chief Race and Equity Officer reflects our pledge to lead this region in creating an equity ecosystem,” said Councilmember Montgomery Steppe. “Our city needs a well-qualified, innovative leader to assemble broad coalitions and work with City departments to root out discriminatory policies. Ms. Desmond was the clear choice during our rigorous interview process. Her experience, expertise, transparency, and bold leadership will help to assist in our City's efforts to implement sweeping systemic changes in pursuit of racial, social and economic justice. My office looks forward to partnering in the near future."

Desmond will play a leading role in driving a citywide strategy to advance and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion practices into the City’s culture and its programs, services and policies. Her office, an official city department, will provide education and technical support to City staff and officials who seek to reduce and eliminate systemic racism and barriers to the fair and just distribution of resources, access and opportunity.

“I’m honored to be appointed to this position and excited to have an opportunity to create systemic change as San Diego’s first Chief of Race and Equity,” Desmond said. “Inequity is a burden that impacts our collective humanity from thriving, so a focus on race and equity creates possibilities to design equity into San Diego’s policies, programs and budget decisions to remove disparities throughout the city. A focus on race and equity is an investment for all of us.”