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Comptroller Stringer names chief diversity officer

Khorri Atkinson | 3/14/2014, 12:59 p.m.

In his effort for the city to increase its number of contracts and subcontracts to female- and minority-owned contractors, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has named Carra Wallace as the city’s first chief diversity officer to oversee city agencies.

Wallace, the former managing director at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York’s Office of Executive Initiatives, led the Authority’s diversity initiatives for financial, legal and professional services, including minority- and women-owned business (MWBE) contracts. She will now implement a grading system for city agencies that will be made public and state as to whether her goals for MWBE contracting are met.

“I am thrilled that Carra Wallace will be joining the comptroller’s office to lead diversity initiatives that will play a role in improving our economy, promoting competition for city contracts and expanding opportunity for all,” said Stringer in a statement. “From prospective employers to job seekers to taxpayers, everyone benefits when there is a diverse pool from which our city can procure goods and services,” he added.

According to Stringer’s statement, only 5 percent of the city’s contracts were awarded to MWBEs in 2012. However, that number was dropped to 2.7 percent in 2013. The push for diversity is not a new issue for Stringer. This was a part of his platform before he dropped out of the mayoral race in 2012.

Stringer said the letter grading system will be unveiled in the coming months.

“I am excited to be the first chief diversity officer for the comptroller’s office, and I thank Comptroller Stringer for the opportunity to be a change agent for underserved populations,” said Wallace in a public statement. She also asserted that she has been providing more access and encouraging participation in government among minority-owned businesses.

“The comptroller’s office plays a vital role in ensuring that our minority- and women-owned businesses are getting their fair share of contracts, that the city accesses contractors of the best quality and talent and that our portfolio companies engage in good business practices,” said Wallace, who has 20 years of experience in private and public sector leadership. She started working at the comptroller’s office on March 10.