The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced Wednesday the appointment of Tanisha Cole Edmonds as the agency’s first chief diversity officer.
In this role, Edmonds “will provide leadership and executive direction on the CFTC’s efforts to integrate and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at all levels of the agency’s workforce and its talent and business operations,” the CFTC said. She will oversee the agency’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.
“As one of my direct reports, Tanisha will advise my office on how the CFTC can better fulfill and build upon the CFTC’s Equal Opportunity Employer & Diversity Statement to support the recruitment and maintenance of a truly diverse CFTC workforce,” said CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam in a press release.
The CFTC’s naming of its first chief diversity officer is overdue, given its historical lack of a diverse workforce. According to agency hiring data, as of fiscal year 2017, among the CFTC’s 705 employees, 298 (42 percent) were women; 117 (17 percent) were African American; 69 (10 percent) were Asian American; 18 (3 percent) were Hispanic American; and six (1 percent) were considered “other.”
The data revealed even less diversity at management level: The agency’s 148 senior-level employees included 49 women (33 percent); 14 African Americans (10 percent); 10 Asian Americans (5 percent); and five Hispanic Americans (3 percent).
“As I noted back in 2019 as a commissioner, hiring data shows the CFTC continues to fall short on this critical commitment, specifically when it comes to management-level job opportunities,” Behnam continued. “This may be undermining the success of the agency and its individual employees, and it needs to change.”
Prior to joining the CFTC, Edmonds served most recently as deputy director for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights and deputy chief diversity officer at the U.S. Department of Interior.
She also worked as a labor and employment law attorney for the U.S. Postal Service and as a technical advisor for the U.S. Secret Service, where she served as the first technical consultant to senior leadership and as a liaison between the Office of Chief Counsel, Office of Human Resources, and the Office of Equal Opportunity, the CFTC noted.
Edmonds began her career as an attorney at the Washington, D.C. boutique law firm Passman & Kaplan.