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Date and Location

April 8, 2024
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET


WAPPP Seminar: Operationalizing Equity in Local Government Photo

Kim Desmond is the inaugural Chief Race and Equity Officer for the City of San Diego, where she is charged with implementing an ordinance that centers dismantling racism. Racism is a salient and perversive force that creates racial disparities at the institutional and systemic levels of society. When we choose to dismantle systemic racism within local government, we must activate practical approaches to advance equitable outcomes through dismantling policies, procedures, and budget decisions that perpetuate inequity and systemic racism.

During this session, Kim will review an Operationalizing Equity model to distill a process into a five-step sequence to move city departments towards producing equitable outcomes. She will also focus on integrating evidence-based policymaking into local government, and will discuss her work setting up randomized controlled trials in partnership with Elizabeth Linos, Emma Bloomberg Associate Professor for Public Policy and Management and Faculty Director of the People Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School. ​

Kim Desmond is currently the Chief Race and Equity Officer for the City of San Diego, leading the Department of Race and Equity for Mayor Todd Gloria. ​​Prior to this appointment, Kim served as the Director and Interim Chief Equity Officer for Mayor Michael Hancock, overseeing the Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation within the City and County of Denver. 

Kim has an extensive background operationalizing racial equity into local government programs, budget allocations, and policies through building equitable outcomes with a targeted focus on eliminating systemic racism. 


This event is co-sponsored by the Malcom Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. 

Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access may contact Laura Botero at or 617-384-7575 in advance of the program.​​​

Speakers and Presenters

​Kim Desmond, Chief Race and Equity Officer for the City of San Diego