Ventura, CA – After a nationwide recruitment that garnered over 150 applicants, the County of Ventura has selected Phin Xaypangna (pronounced Pin) as the County of Ventura’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.
“Phin is a dynamic and results-driven leader with more than twenty years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said County CEO Mike Powers. “Her extensive experience will serve our County well. We are deeply committed to ensuring that all employees and those we serve have a sense of safety, belonging, justice and equity and this position will help lead us forward in improving our efforts.”
The Diversity and Inclusion Officer will drive engagement, strategy, implementation and accountability for all County of Ventura Diversity and Inclusion initiatives to ensure that all employees and those receiving County services are treated with respect and without discrimination and that the County leverages the strength of the diverse County workforce and community.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to become Ventura County’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. The organization has made significant progress in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m excited to be leading this effort to the next level,” said Phin Xaypangna. “We must all work together and hold ourselves accountable to ensure that all residents and employees of Ventura County have the opportunity to thrive. I’m committed to operationalizing racial equity and social justice to everything we do to create equitable outcomes and making Ventura County a leader in this area.”
Xaypangna has served as the Equity and Inclusion Manager for the County of Mecklenburg in Charlotte, North Carolina a County with more than 6,000 employees and more than one million residents. She led the County’s efforts in developing diversity, equity and inclusion measures, programs and policies.
The new position, a best practice in private industry for supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, will continue and enhance work that is already in progress at the County of Ventura. In 2017, the County launched the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force comprised of leaders from across County agencies and departments. The Task Force's mission is to enhance and strengthen systems, programs, and learning to ensure that the County has the best practices to work effectively and leverage diversity with all team members, customers, and with the community, and to improve outcomes for community members, deliver culturally responsible services, and maintain successful partnerships with community organizations.
To date, the Task Force has worked to develop and implement mandatory employee cultural competency training, created an online Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Library, created a Mentorship Program, established the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council, supported creation of a County of Ventura Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer leadership position, and has continued the bilingual incentive premium for County employees to provide services in Spanish and Indigenous languages.
In November, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis. The resolution discusses working collaboratively with community stakeholders, law and justice agencies, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, health care professionals, and others to address public concerns, review practices and effective allocation of resources. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer will take the lead on this collaboration.
Xaypangna begins her new role January 11, 2021 and will work out of the County Executive Office at the Government Center in Ventura.