Youngkin chooses former Heritage Foundation official as Va.’s new chief diversity officer

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin named a former Heritage Foundation official as the commonwealth’s Chief Diversity, Opportunity & Inclusion Officer Wednesday.

Youngkin said he would be designating Angela Sailor to his cabinet, while also issuing an executive order renaming the office she will heading from “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” to “Diversity, Opportunity & Inclusion,” along with refocusing the mission of the office.

Executive Order No. 10 says the office will be focused on “expansion of entrepreneurship and economic opportunity for all Virginians, the promotion of diverse free speech and inclusive civil discourse, and a role in promoting the honest and complete teaching of history.”

“Angela Sailor’s experience in government, nonprofits and the private sector will guide us as we ensure that the government is working for all Virginians across our diverse Commonwealth, especially when it comes to economic opportunity for all Virginians. In addition, I will introduce and support legislation to change the name of the office to the Diversity, Opportunity and Inclusion Office,” Youngkin said in a statement.

Sailor recently served as the vice president of the Feulner Institute at the Heritage Foundation. When the Feulner Institute was launched in October 2019, the Heritage Foundation described it as a “first-of-its-kind endeavor to restore confidence in America’s founding values and principles.” Sailor was tasked with heading up the project, and appointed its first vice president.

Sailor was also the director of African American Affairs for President George Bush’s 2000 presidential bid, and afterward served in the White House Office of Public Liaison.

She has also been outspoken about critical race theory being taught in schools, an issue that Youngkin campaigned on as he was running for governor. Critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism.

In an op-ed written for the Feulner Institute, Sailor wrote about critical race theory: “No matter your race, it’s our moral obligation to push back against a doctrine that divides our nation and invokes hopelessness. We must also teach the truth of America’s heritage — its imperfections as well as its remarkable strengths.”

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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