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Ott appoints city’s first chief equity officer

Monday, September 19, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

As of Friday, Austin has a chief equity officer. Brion Oaks will be the first person to hold the position, which was created in the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget. The equity officer will work with city staff to foster a culture that “institutionalizes the use of an equity lens designed to address institutional barriers that interfere with access and equitable service delivery.” Oaks, who will begin work on Oct. 17, comes from 13 years at the American Heart Association, where he was most recently the vice president of health equity at the Southwest Affiliate. City Manager Marc Ott announced his appointment, saying, “Mr. Oaks has a demonstrated commitment to improving equity in central Texas. He’s been building relationships and alliances on the front line to address one of our most complex societal issues – health equity. … It’s clear to me that his work in that area will serve him well as he helps guide Austin on our path to a more equitable future for all of our residents and employees.”

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