Gov. Holcomb announces State Equity Chief

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced Karrah A. Herring will serve as Indiana’s first-ever chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer.

“My goal is to better build diversity and foster an inclusive environment within state government and the services we provide so every Hoosier can take full advantage of their gifts and potential,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Karrah will guide every state agency with her impressive experience at one of our state’s world-renowned universities.”

In addition to naming Herring, the governor also announced that the CenterPoint Energy Foundation is supporting the state’s diversity and inclusion programs and services.

“The CenterPoint Energy Foundation has stepped up with a financial contribution for this effort because they understand getting this right is important for the long-term quality of life and growth in this state,” Gov. Holcomb said. “We are grateful for their focus on fostering more understanding, respect and trust in areas of diversity and inclusion.”

Herring currently serves as the director of public affairs for the University of Notre Dame, where she has worked since 2011. From 2014 until 2018, she served on Notre Dame's Human Resource's Senior Leadership Team as director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX coordinator. In this role, Herring provided oversight and support of the university’s efforts to comply with federal and state civil rights laws related to policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Herring created Notre Dame’s affirmative action plans, had oversight of employee disability compliance for the campus, and oversaw workplace investigations falling under Title VII and Title IX.

Herring earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and her law degree from Valparaiso University.

“I am honored to join Gov. Holcomb’s administration and be named the state’s first chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer,” Herring said. “This is an incredible opportunity to drive cultural change across state government workplaces and essential state services by increasing equity and inclusion.”

Gov. Holcomb announced the creation of the chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer during his August address to the state. The officer will focus on improving state government operations as well as drive systemic change to remove hurdles in the government workplace and services the state provides. Herring will help agencies develop strategic plans to remove any barriers. As a member of the governor’s cabinet, Herring will report directly to the governor.

Through its charitable foundation, CenterPoint Energy has been in discussions with the state since the announcement of the position in August to help understand how they may partner with the state of Indiana to enhance diversity and inclusion programs. The CenterPoint Energy Foundation, through its strategic giving areas, supports programs that serve under-resourced populations to help communities thrive.

Herring starts her new role on Feb. 1, 2021.