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ACADEMY HIRES FIRST DIVERSITY EXEC

Valeisha Butterfield Jones, formerly global head of inclusion for Google, is the Recording Academy’s first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. She'll join the executive leadership team on 5/11.

Butterfield Jones' appointment follows the recommendation set forth by the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force  that it hire an executive responsible for enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.

Butterfield Jones will design, build and implement world-class programs and industry standards focused on inclusion, belonging and representation for underrepresented communities and creators. She reports to Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr.

"Valeisha has been a force in driving systemic change and enhancing equal opportunities for underrepresented groups across entertainment, technology and politics,” Mason said.

Tina Tchen, chair of the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force and president and CEO of TIME'S UP, added, "It's imperative that the music industry continue to make strides toward a more equitable and inclusive industry, and I am pleased to see the Recording Academy take this important step toward change within its own walls today by appointing Valeisha Butterfield Jones as its first-ever Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer."

At Google, she was responsible for accelerating diversity, equity and inclusion outcomes for underrepresented communities internally and externally across the brand. She was national youth vote director for the Obama for America campaign, deputy director of public affairs for international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Obama Administration, executive director at Rush Communications and national director of diversity and inclusion for the Alzheimer's Association.

Butterfield Jones co-founded the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network and serves on the National Board of Directors of ColorComm, MC Lyte's Hip Hop Sisters Network and iVote.  

Butterfield Jones said: "During this unprecedented time in world history, together we will double-down on our focus to drive systemic change and equitable outcomes for underrepresented communities and creators."

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