February 8th, 2021
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today announced the appointment of Deanna Kimbrel as Chief Diversity Officer and head of the new Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Kimbrel will be the County’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer, fulfilling a priority of the Bello administration and a recommendation of the Monroe County Transition Report issued in February 2020. The Chief Diversity Officer and the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work to make County government more reflective of the entire community.
“It is long past time for our county to challenge the status quo and take committed steps toward dismantling systemic and institutional racism, creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive government and ensuring that we are an inclusive business partner for our community,” said Bello. “Deanna Kimbrel’s strong background and record of experience will help bring our county to a new and necessary era of equity and inclusion. I know this work will be challenging, but know that Ms. Kimbrel will help push us forward to a better future. The Chief Diversity Officer and Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion were identified in the County’s Transition Report last year, and has been a priority of my administration since taking office. This is a historic day for Monroe County government.”
Kimbrel has more than 15 years of experience in the field of workplace diversity and inclusion. Most recently, she was the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Inovalon Holdings Inc., a technology company that provides cloud-based analytics and platforms for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical firms. She is also proprietor of Kimbrel Management Consulting, which provides workplace climate assessments as well as educational programs and workshops to different industries on topics including organizational culture, leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion. Previously, she served in similar positions with Paychex, Inc. and with Rochester Institute of Technology.
"It is an absolute honor to join Monroe County as the first Chief Diversity Officer. My sentiments, much like those of Vice President Harris, I may be the first, but I will not be the last. Many of us are experiencing some of the most difficult times of our lives, but these hard times will not be in vain as many of the inequities and injustices that exist in our society have been exposed for all to see,” said Kimbrel. “We can no longer turn a blind eye. Now is the time to ensure we are not only speaking of a community that is diverse, equitable and inclusive but taking the necessary steps to systemically secure a future where there is justice, opportunity, and dignity for all. I look forward to working collaboratively within our community to lead these efforts".
Kimbrel holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from University of Phoenix, a master’s degree in Communication and Business Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in Communications and Business from the University at Buffalo.
County Executive Bello submitted legislation in July seeking to amend the County Charter to create the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. That amendment was approved by the County Legislature in October 2020.
Under Kimbrel’s leadership, the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will spearhead efforts to diversify the county’s workforce, review contracting and procurement procedures and develop and implement policies and strategies to combat all forms of bias and unequal treatment. The department will seek effective methods and procedures for recruitment, selection, placement and promotion of racial and ethnic minorities, women, veterans, persons who identify as LGBTQ, and persons with disabilities.
The department will also review and monitor County contracting and procurement to ensure all entities doing business with the county are inclusive and diverse, supervise equal opportunity functions, oversee Minority/Women owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) selection procedures, and investigate internal complaints of discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment and unequal treatment.
“County government must reflect our community, work for all members of our community and become an actively anti-racist workplace,” said Bello. “The work we must do is long overdue, and I am committed to leading the way for equity for all. Our community deserves no less.”
Ms. Kimbrel will begin in her role as Monroe County Chief Diversity Officer on February 26, 2021. Her appointment requires confirmation by the Monroe County Legislature.