Chief diversity officer appointed for Monroe County

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello recently announced the appointment of Deanna Kimbrel as chief diversity officer and head of the new Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Kimbrel is the county’s first chief diversity officer, fulfilling a recommendation of the Monroe County Transition Report issued last February. This position and the department will work to make county government more reflective of the 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,” Bello said. “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.” 

Kimbrel has more than 15 years of experience in the field of workplace diversity and inclusion. She most recently was director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Inovalon Holdings Inc., and served in similar positions with Paychex Inc. and Rochester Institute of Technology. 

Kimbrel is 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. 

"It is an absolute honor to join Monroe County as the first chief diversity officer,” she said. “My sentiments, much like those of Vice President Harris, [are] 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. 

“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.”

Deanna Kimbrel.

Kimbrel holds a Doctor of Management in organizational leadership from University of Phoenix, a master’s degree in communication and business marketing from RIT, and an undergraduate degree in communications and business from the University at Buffalo. 

Bello submitted legislation last July to amend the county charter to create the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. That amendment was approved by the Monroe County Legislature in October.  

Under Kimbrel’s leadership, the department 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. It will 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- and women-owned business 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,” Bello said. “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.”

Kimbrel will start her role as Monroe County’s chief diversity officer on Feb. 26. Her appointment requires confirmation by the County Legislature.