By Ruth Umoh
The Recording Academy has named Valeisha Butterfield Jones as its first chief diversity and inclusion officer. The appointment comes just months after the controversial and abrupt dismissal of former CEO Deborah Dugan over alleged misconduct.
Butterfield Jones previously served as the global head of inclusion at Google for nearly five years and cofounded the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network. Earlier in her career, she served as a national youth vote director on President Barrack Obama’s campaign and as the deputy director of public affairs for international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Obama Administration.
She also held the executive director position at Rush Communications, which includes Def Jam Enterprises, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, and Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and was the national director of diversity and inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association.
In her new role, Butterfield Jones will be responsible for designing and implementing programs and industry standards focused on inclusion, belonging and representation for underrepresented communities and creators, according to the announcement. She will report directly to Academy chair and interim president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr.
“The Recording Academy has an opportunity and responsibility to ensure that diversity and inclusion is embedded in its core values,” Butterfield Jones said in a statement. “During this unprecedented time in world history, together we will double-down on our focus to drive systemic change and equitable outcomes for underrepresented communities and creators.”
Originally posted on Forbes