California DOJ hires first chief diversity officer

California’s Department of Justice (DOJ) will get its first chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO). Kevin E Hooks has been hired for the position and will lead the DOJ’s efforts to promote an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Hooks served as the president and CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League for eight years starting in 2013. He was the chief community officer and head of diversity for Acorns for one year, 2020 to 2021 and most recently was President and CEO of CEOLIFE Unplugged, leading various diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. He holds a bachelor ofaArts in Speech Communications from Missouri Southern State University .

“I am honored to be the new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the California Department of Justice. My top priority in this role will be to cultivate a more inclusive environment within DOJ and throughout California. I am committed to this work and I am confident that, by working together, we will build a more equitable California for everyone,” Hooks said.

Hooks’ role would be to implement strategies within the DOJ that promote inclusiveness where everyone has a sense of belonging irrespective of their differences in talents and abilities, and gender identities. Hooks will also provide direction to the newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and the DOJ’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging programs working in close concert with the DOJ.

To that end, Hooks will look to recruit, hire and retain workers that are a more accurate reflection of California’s population in the belief that it will be better able to serve the needs of all its residents. The new CDIO will steer the DOJ towards a culture of inclusion, in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources, Equal Employment Rights and Resolution Office and employee organizations, both internal and external.

In hiring Hooks, California Attorney General Rob Bonta stated, “I’m excited to have Kevin on board as our department’s first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and I look forward to the work ahead. For all those who are interested in helping defend the people, values and resources of California, I urge you to consider a career here at the California Department of Justice. We are always looking to bring on qualified personnel.”

“My office is deeply committed to supporting and developing an organizational culture that respects and reflects the rich diversity of our state. Through our ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity, equity and excellence, we’re taking steps to be better equipped to serve all of California’s residents,” Bonta stated.

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