Karen Johnson has been named by Gov. Inslee to serve as Director of the state’s new Office of Equity. The appointment is effective March 8.
The office will work with agencies to increase access to equitable opportunities in order to bridge opportunity gaps and reduce disparities. The office will also work with communities to develop the state’s five-year equity plan.
Johnson is currently the equity and inclusion administrator for the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), where she works to incorporate equity, diversity, inclusion and respect (EDI-R) into DOC policy and practices. She also represents DOC on the statewide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
“Governor Inslee has boldly announced Washington’s historic commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism and I am excited to join his team at this time,” Johnson said. “We will work to develop a new state culture that centers equity in all of its work and provides all Washingtonians with an opportunity to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Johnson holds both a PhD and Masters of Public Administration from Old Dominion University, and earned her Bachelor of Science from Utica College of Syracuse University. She has also earned a Certified Diversity Executive certification.