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City selects Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer finalists; will host online forums June 21-22

Released on Thursday, June 17, 2021
Contact Information
  • Amy Resseguie, Senior Communications Specialist, ,
  • Karen Burke, Human Resources Director, 970-221-6826,

The City of Fort Collins has narrowed its search for a Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer to finalists who will participate in community forums and other selection events with City Council, City staff and community stakeholders the week of June 21.

The finalists are:

  • Claudia María Menéndez (she/her/ella), family engagement specialist for Poudre School District
  • Naomi Nishi (she/her/ella), associate director of educational outreach for the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Patrice Palmer (they/them), diversity, equity and inclusion specialist for New Belgium Brewing Company

“This is new position for the City of Fort Collins, and the person who fills it will play a critical role in advancing equity and inclusion across the organization,” said Deputy City Manager Kyle Stannert. “We know that as local government and community leaders, we can do more to ensure Fort Collins is a safe and welcoming place for all people, and the Chief DEI Officer will help embed that lens across the entire organization.”

Additional information about each candidate is available at

Candidate Forum

The City will host two online public forums with the candidates:

  • Monday, June 21, from 5:30-6:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 22, from 12:45-2 p.m.

The links and instructions to view the forums will be posted at in advance of the events.

Community members are invited to view the forum live online and may submit questions for consideration in advance. Questions will be vetted by a team and may be asked during the public forum or panel interviews that week. A brief feedback form will be available after the forums for attendees to share input with the hiring committee.

An online candidate meet-and-greet with City Council will also be held Tuesday, June 22, from 7-8:15 a.m. The link will be posted at in advance.

Selection Process

This is a new executive-level position within the City of Fort Collins, and the Chief DEI Officer will be tasked with establishing a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office within the City Manager’s Office. The position will report to Deputy City Manager Kyle Stannert. The City enlisted the support of GovHR USA to lead the search.