Governor Gary R. Herbert has elevated the division directors for Indian Affairs and Multicultural Affairs to his executive leadership team.
Dustin Jansen, the director of the Division of Indian Affairs, and Nubia Peña, the director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs, will begin to immediately serve on Herbert’s leadership team. Herbert said the appointments were made because “there are things we can do right now that will make a difference.”
Peña and Jansen “will report to me on issues of concern” and participate in his team’s weekly meetings, Herbert said. The appointments do not change the organizational structure of the Department of Heritage & Arts or their two divisions.
Herbert made the announcement a week after he met with the Multicultural Commission and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an emergency meeting, which was prompted by nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A second meeting with the two commissions, Herbert, and other senior officials will be scheduled in early July.
Implicit bias training will also be implemented for state employees, beginning in July with Herbert’s cabinet.
“It’s been sobering for me as I reflected on the events of the past two weeks, and reminded that too many of our multicultural communities continue to experience discrimination,” Herbert said Thursday. “We can, in the state of Utah, do better, and we can do better in the country.”
The governor said he was confident that immediate and lasting changes could be made that would help multicultural communities. After all, many advancements have already been made during this ten years in office, including expanded LGBTQ+ rights, greater diversity in his appointments, and a welcoming philosophy for immigrants and refugees, among other things.