The Hawkins Company Recruits Chief Race & Equity Officer for the City of San Diego 

July 26, 2021 – After an extensive national executive search, The Hawkins Company, a Los Angeles-based executive recruitment firm, has assisted in the placement of Kim Desmond as the inaugural chief race and equity officer of the City of San Diego, CA. Currently the chief equity officer for the City and County of Denver, she is slated to begin in her position on Aug. 3. Ms. Desmond was selected from a competitive candidate pool. Her expertise, innovation and track record enabled her to be chosen as the final candidate, said The Hawkins Company. “Her experience, expertise, transparency and bold leadership will help to assist in our city’s efforts to implement sweeping systemic changes in pursuit of racial, social and economic justice,” said councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, who proposed creating the position. “A focus on race and equity is an investment for all of us,” said Ms. Desmond.

The City of San Diego’s Race & Equity Office is charged with providing education, technical support and subject matter expertise in equity with a goal of reducing and eliminating policies rooted in systemic racism.  Upon taking office in November, mayor Todd Gloria made filling the position one of the priorities of his administration.  “For too long, the decisions and policies coming out of City Hall have not served all of us,” he said. “Equity is about making sure everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recruiting Report:
Building a Balanced and Diverse Workforce

Hunt Scanlon Media’s latest market intelligence recruiting report – this time focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – will be available later this fall! The nation’s top executive recruiters are resetting expectations and looking for new ways forward to build balanced and diverse workforce teams for their clients.

According to executive recruiters, DE&I should not just be a priority, but an integrated part of every company’s leadership goals. Some companies have even tied DE&I metrics to executive compensation. But it’s more than that.

Part of building strong, diverse hiring teams means asking yourself: “Who is my company culture going to attract – and how will it engage people who are here?” This question can be very difficult to answer if you assume everyone feels welcome already just because you do. Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations is more than just the right ethical decision. “It is one of the best business decisions a company can make,” said Keri Gavin, a partner with Hanold Associates and leader of the search firm’s Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice. Hanold Associates is a proud sponsor of this year’s report. This report will help organizations prioritize DE&I as a business imperative that drives greater competitiveness, innovation and business results. Get it now! 

Respected Recruiters

Established in 1984, The Hawkins Company is a management consulting firm specializing in executive recruitment. While recognized for its expertise in diversity recruiting, the firm is a general practitioner that focuses on achieving the executive level staffing objectives of private, public, educational and non-profit clients. Early on, The Hawkins Company focused exclusively on private sector recruiting. Over time, it was requested to conduct searches for government agencies and became nationally recognized for its ability to apply private sector search strategies to meet the recruitment needs of public sector clients. Today, its client base includes educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The firm has conducted over 700 national, regional, and local executive searches for CEOs, COOs, CAOs, CFOs and other officers, directors, senior managers and professional staff.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Earlier this month, The Hawkins Company placed Monique Earl to lead the newly created Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Ms. Earl becomes part of the senior management team reporting to general manager Martin Adams, and will be responsible for the oversight of policies, practices and programs designed to improve diversity and opportunities throughout LADWP and position the agency to better serve communities with the highest needs. As a senior assistant general manager, Ms. Earl will also work to provide leadership, guidance and support in the internal and external development and implementation of the department’s racial equity action initiatives.

Related: Recruiting and Retaining Your Next Chief Diversity Officer

Ms. Earl’s career with the City of Los Angeles spans 20 years across the legislative, executive, and administrative branches of government. During her roles with the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Ms. Earl led diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in recruitment, hiring and supplier diversity.

Ms. Earl has a strong leadership background having served as chief deputy controller for city controller Ron Galperin and deputy mayor of budget and financial policy in the administration of mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She also has a long record of managing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts with a focus on workforce development, contracting, economic development and community engagement.

LADWP board president, Cynthia McClain-Hill, a key architect behind the department’s racial equity action initiatives, said she was looking forward to working with Ms. Earl on the meaningful new initiatives at LADWP. “Equity is about making sure everyone, especially people from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, have the opportunity to be successful at LADWP,” she said. “Monique Earl will be a welcome addition as LADWP’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer during this critical time,” said president McClain-Hill.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was established more than 100 years ago. LADWP, which has more than 11,000 employees, exists to serve all customers with safe, reliable, and cost-effective water and power and currently provides 689,000 water customers and 1.54 million residential electric customers with quality service at competitive prices. In fiscal year 2018-19, LADWP supplied 146 billion gallons of water and had 733,900 active water service connections.

Related: Driving Diversity and Inclusion from the Top

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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