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Holcomb picks Valpo Law grad to dismantle structural inequality in state government
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Holcomb picks Valpo Law grad to dismantle structural inequality in state government

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A Valparaiso University Law School graduate has been selected by Gov. Eric Holcomb to lead Indiana's efforts toward removing structural barriers to equity and inclusion in state government workplaces and services.

Beginning Feb. 1, Karrah A. Herring will become the state's chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer, a new post Holcomb pledged to establish in August in the wake of racial unrest in the Hoosier State, and across the country, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Herring will report directly to the Republican governor, be a member of the governor's cabinet, and have broad authority to drive systemic change in Indiana government.

"My goal is to better build diversity and foster an inclusive environment within state government and the services we provide so every Hoosier can take full advantage of their gifts and potential," Holcomb said. "Karrah will guide every state agency with her impressive experience at one of our state's world-renowned universities."

Herring, a South Bend native, has worked at the University of Notre Dame since earning her law degree in 2011.

At Valparaiso, Herring was president of the Black Law Students Association, vice president of the Student Bar Association and a member of the Mock Trial Team, Christian Legal Society, and the Sports and Entertainment Lawyers Society.

She currently is Notre Dame's director of public affairs and previously led the university's Office of Institutional Equity, where Herring oversaw compliance with federal and state policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

Herring also created Notre Dame’s affirmative action plans, had oversight of employee disability compliance for the campus, and oversaw workplace investigations falling under Title VII and Title IX.

"I am honored to join Gov. Holcomb's administration and be named the state's first chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer," Herring said.

"This is an incredible opportunity to drive cultural change across state government workplaces and essential state services by increasing equity and inclusion."

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