ALBANY, NY -- Governor David A. Paterson has announced that, effective October 15, Carra Wallace will become New York State's first Chief Diversity Officer. This is the third Executive Chamber position to be required by law, joining the positions of Secretary and Counsel to the Governor.
"During my tenure as Governor, it has been a top priority for my administration to work to create a supportive environment for minority- and women-owned businesses, thereby ensuring equity in our State's procurement process," Governor Paterson said. "To institutionalize these efforts by establishing a mandatory Chief Diversity Officer position will not only benefit MWBEs, but help to spur the overall economy of New York State for years to come. I am very pleased to appoint Carra Wallace to this role. Her professional experience and steadfast commitment to this issue will help us improve our record in providing opportunities to all businesses across New York State."
The creation of the Chief Diversity Officer position in the Executive Chamber is required by Governor's Program Bill No. 298 (S.8313/ A.11526), which was passed by the Legislature in June and signed into law by Governor Paterson on July 15. That statute significantly reformed and strengthened the State's program for encouraging the growth of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises, a program in which the Chief Diversity Officer will play a central, coordinating role. The Chief Diversity Officer's responsibilities will include:
• Advising the Governor and the agencies regarding any measures necessary to ensure full compliance with article fifteen-a of the Executive Law, the statute governing contracting with minority and women's business enterprises;
• Engaging in other actions assigned to him or her by the Governor relating to diversity in hiring or promotion of the State workforce and in encouraging diversity practices;
• Advising and assisting the Governor in formulating policies relating to workforce diversity and minority and women's business enterprises;
• Working with the director of the Division of Minority and Women's Business Development to prepare an annual plan for ensuring full compliance with article fifteen-a;
• Serving as a member of the State procurement council;
• Serving as the Governor's liaison with organizations representing minority and women-owned business enterprises and other organizations related to diversity in the State workforce and in State contracting;
• Serving as the Governor's liaison to the small business advisory council for issues related to the creation of a diverse workforce and State procurement practices relating to minority and women-owned business enterprises; and
• Reviewing and consulting with the director of minority and women's business development regarding policies relating to minority and women-owned business enterprise contract specialists at State agencies.
Carra Wallace previously served as Managing Director of the Office of Executive Initiatives (OEI) for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). She was responsible for strategic efforts in developing programs, maximizing the utilization of Minority and Women Owned Businesses, and communicating with DASNY's clients, the public and governmental officials. Guided in large part by Ms. Wallace, DASNY increased utilization of MWBE underwriters in the Authority's bond issuances and also increased MWBE underwriting participation from 3 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2009. She also played a strong supporting role in the historic work of the Governor's MWBE task force commissioned in 2008 to examine the role of State procurement in the awarding of contracts to MWBE underwriters.
Prior to joining the DASNY, Ms. Wallace held senior leadership positions within the private sector and civic organizations, most recently serving as Executive Vice President at Telwares, a major telecommunications service firm. Ms. Wallace is a graduate of the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management.
As Chief Diversity Officer, Ms. Wallace's salary will continue to be $165,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation. DASNY will not fill her position upon departure.