Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer

Allegheny County – Department of Equity and Inclusion

Website Allegheny County – Department of Equity and Inclusion


Allegheny County’s Department of Equity and Inclusion (formerly the Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE) Department), supports the County’s efforts in elevating and sustaining an environment that is inclusive and equitable within the County and its external-facing services, with a high value on promoting shared prosperity through community development and opportunities.  Additionally, the Department of Equity and Inclusion (DEI) seeks to build the capacity of MWDBE certified businesses, monitor contracts to ensure compliance with Allegheny County goals and provide outreach and technical assistance to the business community.

Strategically located in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic States, with Pittsburgh as the city center, Allegheny County is uniquely positioned to deliver its world-class high-tech, bio-medical, manufacturing, and communication products to markets throughout the world.  Supporting the County’s vision, the areas of accountability specific to the Department include:

  • Equity and Inclusion: The promotion of an equity strategy to ensure racial equity in programs and services, accomplished through interdepartmental cooperation as well as working with community-based organizations to ensure residents view the county as an effective and inclusive government. Also includes trainings related to the importance of equitable and inclusive work environments, and the impact of such efforts on a sustainable environment that ensures racial equity.
  • Certification Service: “One-stop shopping” for firms seeking certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).
  • Contract Compliance: Oversees the effort made by firms bidding contracts with Allegheny County to ensure that a strong effort has been made to include MWDBEs on these offerings. Works to increase the number of MWDBE companies participating in contracting opportunities in Allegheny County and oversees MWDBE participation on contracts. Also serves as a repository of information on MWDBE contract participation provided by county authorities.
  • Outreach and Technical Assistance: Communicates with the public by hosting and participating in workshops, trainings, tradeshows, and speaking engagements, as well as through social media platforms and advertisements in relevant publications. Partners with local nonprofits to conduct monthly certification counseling sessions. Hosts an annual open house to provide networking opportunities and technical assistance.

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Purpose and Scope of Position

Allegheny County seeks a Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO) to lead a collaborative initiative to deepen County Government’s diversity, equity, and inclusion in policies, procedures, and activities relevant to the work of the Department of Equity and Inclusion. The creation of the CEIO role, a new leadership position, reflects Allegheny County’s ongoing commitment to continuing this work and ensuring that applicable policies and processes across the organization are fully aligned with the principles and values of diversity, equity and inclusion. As a member of the leadership team, the CEIO will report to the County Manager, and manage a departmental budget of almost $1 million.

Working closely with a staff of 10 professional staff members, this key hire will seek to enhance and improve the County’s efforts in promoting racial and gender equity in its contracting, service, and workforce opportunities. The new CEIO will facilitate initiatives that aim to create business and workforce opportunities as well as support the development and implementation of policies and programs that foster economic pathways for county residents who have been historically disenfranchised and marginalized. In addition, the new CEIO will work with the Human Resources Department and other partners to develop and implement equity and inclusion initiatives by executing relevant programming, training, and other strategies to continue fostering an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace and community.

Primary Responsibilities

The new CEIO will be a talented and visionary leader who will promote economic and social equity through analysis, evaluation of metrics, education, and community partnerships. The CEIO will provide vision, leadership, and coordination for the County’s efforts to ensure equity and inclusion across all aspects of the organization’s work. The duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Leadership and Management

  • Oversees the Department’s operations including program development, fiscal management, and partnership oversight.
  • Develops and maintains quality and performance standards for all MWDBE activities: conducts surveys, gathers data, prepares reports, drafts policies and procedures, and implements and monitors related plans and actions.
  • Manages the staff with transparency and respect, creating a workplace that is professional and positive. Engages employees in strategic discussions and develops and empowers them to work to their full potential.

Partnerships and Community Relations

  • Leads the County’s engagement with local, regional and national organizations regarding equity and inclusion.
  • Participates in county-wide equity collaborations and provides leadership, guidance, training and support to internal and external partners in the development and delivery of equity programs.
  • Invests in community-based partnerships that will inform the County’s decision-making and foster full and equitable civic participation.
  • Assists with cultivating relationships with key external organizations and vendors; collaborates with key partners and stakeholders on equity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Advances education and communication to better engage residents and communities in ways that are inclusive, responsive and socially just.

Program Development

  • Leads the capacity-building of MWDBE-certified businesses.
  • Leads the execution and delivery of equity and inclusion programs and initiatives.
  • Coordinates the development of relevant committees and/or workgroups to address areas of equity and inclusion.
  • Develops work plans and training materials designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values, maintaining compliance with applicable laws.
  • Establishes baseline disparity data/benchmarks and processes to track and report outcomes.
  • Provides expert technical guidance and leadership to management and elected officials on equity and social justice issues affecting County programs.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The CEIO brings expertise around equity and inclusion practices and principles with experience leading culture change. The candidate will be a strategist, communicator, and facilitator who can create a road map for achieving vision, and the collective buy-in and accountability required to achieve organizational change. The CEIO will work in close partnership with the County Manager and the leadership team of the County to develop and implement a framework and vision for equity and inclusion. The new CEIO must have a demonstrated awareness and understanding of multiple facets of diversity and how to apply this knowledge to growing and developing the Department. All candidates must be willing to use the equity lens to develop and implement relevant programs. The successful candidate will possess a combination of the following skills and attributes:

  • A track record of leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
  • A record and reputation as a coalition builder with the ability to bring various perspectives together for a common cause.
  • Preferred experience with contract negotiation and procurement, within the public or private sectors.
  • Strong diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) analyses and commitment as well as experience successfully leading the integration of DEI throughout organizational policies, practices, management, and culture.
  • Educational background that is consistent with the outlined responsibilities of the position.
  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience in management and leadership, particularly with programs in DEI and program development.
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, and constructive participation in ongoing organizational development.
  • Experience incorporating perspectives of multiple communities including communities of color in consideration of impacts and outcomes of a decision-making process.
  • An understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities.
  • Demonstrated success in creating and promoting a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace environment. Working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to present to diverse audiences.

Performance Objectives

In the near term, the CEIO will be expected to continue to deliver outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing the following:

  • Identify priority areas within the county that will be most impactful in addressing implicit and explicit bias, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to share in the County’s economic prosperity.
  • Represent the County in efforts and initiatives that emphasize its commitment to equity and its focus on promoting a government that is inclusive and engages all communities.
  • Elevate the awareness by employees of the County’s commitment by working with other departments on initiatives, trainings and other opportunities to underscore its commitment to racial equity and advancement of opportunities for all.


This position offers a competitive salary of approximately $115,000 with an excellent complement of benefits.

How to Apply

Allegheny County has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Applications are not accepted at this email address. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact Allegheny County.

Resume, position specific cover letter, and salary expectations may be uploaded here:



Allegheny County is an equal opportunity employer.

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