Gov. Tim Walz named Chris Taylor state government’s new “chief inclusion officer” Tuesday.
Taylor, who has served in a similar role for the Minnesota Historical Society, is charged with diversifying the government’s workforce and appointments and improving outreach to the state’s increasingly diverse communities.
Taylor will also oversee Walz’s “One Minnesota Council,” a new panel created with his first executive order as governor to foster inclusion.
“A lot of the big challenges are systemic,” Taylor said of his job. “Disparities, inequities and privilege that are built into the system. By working to illuminate and understand that, we can begin to acknowledge and address those issues.”
The position, while not new, has been elevated to the level of assistant commissioner.
Walz said Taylor will have a foot in both his office and the state’s personnel agency, Minnesota Management and Budget — and that he expects action. “What I was most concerned about is, are we naming a chief inclusion officer so we can feel good about it? That’s my biggest fear,” Walz said.
Taylor will guide state agencies in hiring, promotion and seeking out a more diverse array of contractors.