Murphy names state’s first chief diversity officer

New Jersey is joining a trend with its first chief diversity officer, appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy last week.

Murphy announced his appointment, Hester Agudosi, who serves as the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Public Contract Assistance at the Department of Environmental Protection.

“A commitment to diversity and inclusion is a critical step toward a fairer New Jersey,” Murphy said in a statement. “Hester’s previous leadership experience, community outreach experience and longstanding commitment to ensuring equal opportunity for all state residents will ensure that New Jersey continues on the path to economic and social justice for all.”

Agudosi’s appointment received support from state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark).

“Hester has the singular distinction of bringing an unparalleled wealth of experience and expertise to this new role,” he said. “Her appointment is not only a tremendous step forward for this administration, but it also heralds in a new wave of increased diversity in workplaces to enrich businesses in all corners of our state. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Agudosi, who has been an employee of the state for 19 years, said she was honored to be the state’s first chief diversity officer.

“In this significant role, I will lead the governor’s effort to promote a more diverse workforce and increased opportunities for women and minority business participation in public procurement,” she said. “New Jersey continues to lead the nation, having one of America’s most diverse populations. My office will serve as a public engine that drives economic growth and opportunity for each and every community in our great state.”