San Jose City Manager Dave Sykes today announced he’s appointed Zulma Maciel as the director of the newly-established Office of Racial Equity.
The City Council approved the formation of the office in June to address systemic racism by creating a so-called equity framework to improve policies and programs. The office aims to use data, analysis and public engagement to identify and ameliorate disparities.
San Jose conducted a nationwide search to find a new department head, but ultimately decided on someone close to home. Maciel has served as the city’s director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs since 2015.
“Throughout her tenure with the city, Zulma has demonstrated time and time again her commitment to our communities and ability to drive results,” Sykes said in a news release. “The stakes are high with this very important new role and I have full confidence in her ability to make an immediate impact.”
As the head of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Maciel led the city’s Welcoming San Jose Plan, which sought to create a better environment for immigrants and refugees.
“Zulma is a fierce champion for San Jose’s immigrant and refugee community and she will continue to be a powerful voice in the fight for institutional change,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in an announcement of the promotion. “She will serve San Jose’s diverse population in her new role in the Office of Racial Equity with her immense passion for equality and dedication to all our residents.”
Maciel, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, also serves as vice president of Grail Family Services and volunteers on the advisory board for HOPE Leadership Institute and the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley.
Maciel has a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from UC Santa Cruz.