Barry Selects Michelle Hernandez-Lane to Serve as Chief Diversity Officer
Hernandez-Lane will be tasked with improving Metro’s workforce and culture to reflect the diversity of Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Megan Barry has tapped Michelle Hernandez-Lane to serve as the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) for Metro Nashville. The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) will lead the implementation of Mayor Barry’s agenda to ensure that all parts of Metro Government are diverse and inclusive.
“Michelle Hernandez-Lane combines a deep knowledge of local and state laws and practices regarding diversity and inclusion, with a fierce passion for equity – a quality that will serve her well as Nashville’s Chief Diversity Officer,” said Mayor Barry. “I know that she will be instrumental in helping to build upon that warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes Nashville such a great place to live.”
Hernandez-Lane currently spearheads Metro Nashville’s efforts to promote business diversity in its procurements as Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance. Her career with Metro began in 2001, working to develop the existing small business program and make it more robust and effective. In 2013, Michelle was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Advisory Council on State Procurement. She holds a B.A. from Fisk University and an M.S. in Public Service Management from Cumberland University.
“As a citizen of Davidson County, I am grateful for Mayor Barry’s leadership in making diversity a priority and value her commitment to this work,” said Hernandez-Lane. “It is important for us to take pride in and celebrate our various achievements and differences and recognize them as resources that can be leveraged to promote excellence in how Metro Government functions. Our work will be focused on developing a culture that promotes diversity and enriches the experiences of individuals in all aspects of government.”
The creation of the CDO position was one of the recommendations of the Mayor’s Transition Team Committee and was a priority of the Human Relations Commission’s IncluCivics report in 2015, which showed Metro Government lacked equality in terms of composition and salary.
As CDO, Hernandez-Lane will be tasked with:
- the attraction, development, promotion, and retention of a diverse government workforce at all levels;
- the development of a government culture that provides employees the technical and cultural competencies to operate effectively within a diverse organizational framework;
- the improvement of the city’s procurement practices and policies to further increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses;
- providing input into diversity-related compliance issues;
- providing recommendations for diverse representation on appointed Metro boards and commissions or other government working groups;
- addressing - by working with other Metro departments - quality of life diversity issues; and
- actions to affirm the Mayor’s commitment to diversity and inclusion that enhance a broader Nashville reputation and competitive capability throughout all of Metro government and Nashville as a whole.
In addition, the CDO will be the Mayor’s primary staff liaison with the Mayor’s Diversity Advisory Committee, whose goal is to develop a strategic plan that results in a Metro workforce reflective of Nashville’s diverse population. Lane’s primary role is serving as CDO; she will also continue a role with the Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (BAO) as part of this focus. She will be housed in the Mayor’s Office.
The Diversity Advisory Committee will meet on a periodic basis to assist in the efforts of establishing a strategic plan. The members of the Committee will be:
- Scott Potter – Director of Water Services. Mr. Potter shall serve as Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee.
- Brenda Wynn – Davidson County Clerk. Ms. Wynn shall serve as Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee.
- Steve Anderson – Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department
- Sheila Calloway – Juvenile Court Judge
- Cynthia Croom – Director of the Metro Action Commission
- Melody Fowler-Green – Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission
- Veronica Frazier – Director of Human Resources
- Talia Lomax-O’dneal – Finance Director
- Mark Macy – Director of Public Works
- Jon Cooper – Director of Law
- Sheri Weiner – Council Member
- Ricky White – Chief of the Nashville Fire Department
- Karen Y. Johnson – Metro Council Speaker Pro-Tem
- Nancy VanReece – Metro Council Member
- Vanessa Lazón – Mayor’s Office of New Americans
- Ashford Hughes – Mayor’s Workforce Liaison
“As the co-chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee, I’m looking forward to working with Michelle Hernandez-Lane to help develop the strategies and policies necessary to ensure that our city’s great diversity is reflected in Metro Government,” said Davidson County Clerk Brenda Wynn, who served on the Mayor’s Diversity and Organizational Structure working group of her Transition Team. “It will take time to change the culture of Metro Government, but I know that with Mayor Megan Barry’s focus on this issue, and working with Michelle Hernandez-Lane, we can and will do better.”