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City Manager Ken Larking announced tonight that he has named Amanda Paez as the City’s first chief equity officer — a position tasked with ensuring policy decisions and programs are evaluated through an equity lens.
Paez takes on the role after having served for more than 13 years as a management analyst and assistant to the city manager with the City of Danville.
“As a member of the city manager’s office, Amanda has the ability to independently review policies, programs, and services throughout the organization to make sure that we are following the best practices with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Larking said.
Larking made the announcement during a meeting of the City Council.
Paez explained to Council members how she plans to carry out her role. “Our 2020 All-America City designation was based on health equity — how we recognized the problem, assessed the issues, looked at data, and tackled it in a comprehensive way to improve outcomes,” she said. “I plan to approach the City’s DEI efforts in a similar way.”
Initially, Paez plans to start internally.
“This can involve assessing each city department to determine if services provided or policies impact different groups differently,” she said. “It can also mean taking a hard look at how we engage our employees, recruit new employees, and foster an organizational culture where public servants feel valued while serving the community at the highest level.”
Paez is a member of the Virginia Local Government Equity Cohort, the International City/County Management Association, and the association of Engaging Local Government Leaders.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a bachelor’s degree in public and urban affairs, and a master’s degree in public administration from Virginia Tech.
Paez joined the City in August 2008. As a management analyst and assistant to the city manager, her duties have included program evaluation, policy analysis, website management, and legislative analysis and tracking.
She serves on the board of directors of the Danville-Pittsylvania County United Way. She is first vice president of the board of directors for HOBY Virginia, and an active member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Virginia.