City Manager Thomas Ambrosino has announced that Candace Perez of New York City has been hired as the city’s first Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Perez will begin in her new position on June 28. Her office will be located at City Hall.
Perez’s appointment came after more than 60 candidates had submitted applications for the position. A nine-member selection committee interviewed a half dozen candidates and submitted a list of three female finalists to Ambrosino, who interviewed the finalists via Zoom and made the final decision.
“I believe Candace is an excellent choice and has a great background for this important position,” said Ambrosino. “I look forward to working with her. We’re excited to get this office started.”
Perez brings outstanding academic credentials and wide-ranging experience in diversity and inclusion programs to her key position. She holds an MBA Degree from Northeastern University, Master of Arts Degree from Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tennessee State University.
“I’m very privileged and I’m pleased for this opportunity,” said Perez. “It’s great to be in Chelsea. I think city government is putting forth that good foot in getting community relations and political relations in check and I think they made a great decision in selecting me. It’s very exciting and I’m preparing everything and getting ready to give Chelsea my 100 percent.”
Perez won’t be starting right away in her new position in Chelsea because she had made a commitment to do mission work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She will be working with women who are survivors of domestic violence, advocating for them with organizations in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Perez speaks multiple languages including Spanish, Italian, and German.
Perez’s candidacy was well supported by the selection committee. One member, Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, said that while he welcomes Perez to the city and looks forward to working with her, “I am disappointed that she will not be living in Chelsea.”