Chief Equity Officer - Kansas City, Missouri

$128,000 - $148,356 yearly
  • Baker Tilly
  • Kansas City, MO, USA
  • Apr 26, 2022
Full time Administration/Management Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Job Description

Are you an outstanding communicator and experienced professional well versed in the “best practice” areas of diversity, equity and inclusion -- with a desire to make a difference in the community where you reside?  Because the people of Kansas City have an interest in its local government operating and providing services, and promulgating the establishment of rules, policies, practices and programs in a fair and equitable way, the City has created a new leadership position entitled, Chief Equity Officer, that will report directly to the City Manager. This new position will oversee the internal and external diversity, equity and inclusion practices and programs of the City to insure the fair administration for City employees and citizens.

Kansas City (KC) is a growing, world class community of nearly 500,000 residents that serves as the central hub for a thriving bi-state, 18-county metropolitan area of 2.5 million residents. The City is governed by a 13-member City Council and Mayor that appoint a City Manager to oversee a municipal organization with over 4,700 employees, 16 departments, and a total annual operating and capital budget exceeding $1 billion. A diverse and culturally rich community located at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, KC is known for its long traditions as the home of spectacular BBQ, jazz, beautiful boulevards, fountains and parks. The City is generally recognized as one of the most livable cities in America.  

The rights and well-being of Kansas City’s citizens and employees are a priority, and City leaders seek to marshal the necessary resources to advance social equity and reduce, and ultimately eliminate, disparities experienced by Kansas City's most marginalized populations.  This role will support city agencies and departments in normalizing concepts of racial and social equity, organize staff to work together for transformational change, and operationalize new practices, policies, and programs to drive greater equity. In addition, this role will ensure equitable policy making, service delivery, and distribution of resources that account for the different histories, challenges and needs of the community. This role will also lead efforts to nurture and facilitate the development of citywide, multi-sectoral programming and policies to effect change in the city's approach to diversity, equity and outreach strategies.

The Chief Equity Officer will report to the City Manager and lead efforts to create new policies that proactively implement programs and strategies to promote equity and equality within Kansas City's internal structure and throughout the city. This includes regular collaboration with internal departments and the leadership of a task force established by the City Manager to ensure that the city is using innovative approaches to address race and equity both internally, and citywide. This is achieved through strategic and organic partnerships both internally and in the community; collection and regular reporting of data through monthly updates to the City Council on the progress of equity initiatives; meetings with various citizen groups regarding problems of discrimination and equal employment opportunities within the City's government; and, ongoing communication with housing and health services provided by the City to ensure equitable and fair administration in the provision of those opportunities and services.

To be named a finalist, candidates should possess a passion for advancing equity and social justice solutions and a demonstrated commitment to community building and engagement with the community and citizens of all backgrounds. Viable candidates must be highly organized and possess exceptional communication and fiscal management skills. A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with a variety of groups, including elected officials, neighborhood, business, and nonprofit civic leaders, along with city employee and labor representatives is essential. The ability to convene groups of citizens, employees, and other groups to assist in facilitating dialogue and resolving conflict is highly desirable. Other important attributes include possessing both a commitment to transparency and a team approach that promotes a positive work environment. The City also desires a candidate that exhibits strong diplomatic skills, self-confidence, and the highest levels of integrity -- while serving the organization and the public with humility. Demonstrating an appreciation for the history and culture of the community and the city organization, coupled with an ability to clearly and effectively communicate the rationale for supporting a multi-cultural and inclusive community is extremely important.      

The ideal candidate will possess a Juris Doctorate degree, or an accredited Masters’ degree in public administration, multicultural, equity or diversity studies, or a related field. Candidates with 5-7 years of experience working in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion with a public, governmental, or similarly complex organization serving a complex urban environment, with an understanding of the effective methods of organizational change are highly desired. Possessing a record of operationalizing diversity, equity and inclusionary policies and programs, including but not limited to budget management, supervision, strategic planning, policy and program creation and implementation, will be an advantage. At a minimum, candidates must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a Bachelors’ degree in public administration, multicultural, equity or diversity studies, or a related field (equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis). Candidates must also possess a minimum 3 years of experience working in diversity and equity related work. To be appointed, candidates possess a valid state-issued driver’s license and a safe driving record (as determined by the City); and, establish residency within Kansas City’s corporate limits within nine months of appointment.  

The starting salary will be commensurate with the selected candidate’s qualifications, experience, and professional achievement with a starting range up to $148,356, DOQ/E, plus excellent benefits. Interested applicants should complete a confidential online application and submit a cover letter and resume at:

This position is open until filled; however, those interested are strongly encouraged to apply by Tuesday, May 31, 2022.   

The City will consider offering interviews to those candidates named as Finalists, with reference, background, and academic verification checks conducted after receiving candidates’ permission. For more information, please contact Art Davis at, or at 816.868.7042.  For more information about Kansas City, please visit

Please Note: The evaluation of applications will be based only on the information submitted. Therefore, to have your application properly considered, you should include all relevant dates, i.e., attendance at an educational institution, date the degree(s) were conferred, etc. Please include a detailed description of relevant work experience and dates, including months and years of employment.

The City of Kansas City, Missouri is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and is committed to a diverse workforce.