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New Director for Office of Equity & Racial Justice lays out his plans for San Diego County

Andrew Strong is a 9-year, Navy veteran who’s worked in the County's Human Resources Dept. & in the Chief Administrative Office.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, California — The Director for San Diego County’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice is speaking out about his new position and some of the plans he has to reshape county government. After a national search, Andrew Strong was selected in-part, by community members to help move San Diego County forward in its service to all people.

Andrew Strong is a 9-year, Navy veteran who’s worked in the Human Resources Dept. and in the Chief Administrative Office, managing the day-to-day operations of San Diego County. After serving the county for 14 years, the 40-year old says he has a very specific approach to leading the newly created, Office of Equity and Racial Justice.

“Starting with the vision of Live Well San Diego but adding equity to that vision and really defining what that is. Then teaching our department heads of how to look through a lense of equity in every single thing they do,” said Strong. 

Strong was also once a fellow with Rise San Diego, an organization that looks to build leaders in urban communities who can facilitate change and growth. Rise’s President and CEO says Strong’s new position will help the county address the challenges it faces.

“You have a much more progressive, forward-thinking, County Board of Supervisors that really want to look at, not only externally about what’s going on in the community and the services that they provide, but internally and really, have they created programs that are equitable in nature, in terms of gender and race and socioeconomic class?” said Tony Young, Rise San Diego's President and CEO.   

Strong says he doesn’t expect his new role to be easy, but as the first Director of the Office of Equity and Racial Justice, he plans to lead with openness, compassion and understanding.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of distrust and a lot of people questioning how I got to be in this role, but for me, those are the people we need to spend most of our time with, partner with, bring on board and get their ideas for how to change the county from the inside out,” Strong said. 

The county says 12 community groups were involved in choosing Strong as Director. It also says it’s creating two more positions to help support the Office of Equity and Racial Justice.

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