The Recording Academy has hired Valeisha Butterfield Jones as its first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
Butterfield Jones will report directly to Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason jr., effective May 11, 2020.
As Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Butterfield Jones will design, build and implement programs and industry standards “focused on inclusion, belonging and representation for underrepresented communities and creators,” according to a press release announcing the appointment.
Butterfield Jones’ appointment follows recommendations from the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force in December 2019 to hire a Diversity & Inclusion Officer at the executive level responsible for enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion efforts by May 1, 2020.
Butterfield Jones is a globally recognized business leader with proven impact at the intersections of technology, politics and entertainment.
She formerly served as the Global Head of Inclusion for Google, Inc. responsible for accelerating diversity, equity and inclusion outcomes for underrepresented communities internally and externally across the global brand.
Prior to joining Google, Butterfield Jones served as the National youth Vote Director for the Obama for America campaign, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for International Trade at the US Department of Commerce in the Obama Administration, executive director at Rush Communications (Def Jam Enterprises, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network) and as the National Director of Diversity and inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Her two decades-long career began at Home Box Office (HBO Sports).
“Valeisha has been a force in driving systemic change and enhancing equal opportunities for underrepresented groups across entertainment, technology and politics.”
Harvey Mason jr., Recording Academy
“We are thrilled to welcome Valeisha Butterfield Jones into the Recording Academy family,” said Harvey Mason jr.
“Valeisha has been a force in driving systemic change and enhancing equal opportunities for underrepresented groups across entertainment, technology and politics.
“I’m excited to work with her to continue evolving the Recording Academy as an organization that represents our music community and a place where all voices are welcomed, supported and nurtured. We are so fortunate to have Valeisha’s leadership in this crucial area.”
“The Recording Academy has an opportunity and responsibility to ensure that diversity and inclusion is embedded in its core values.”
Butterfield Jones, added: “The Recording Academy has an opportunity and responsibility to ensure that diversity and inclusion is embedded in its core values.
“I’m deeply honored to join the Academy as we enter a new chapter of transformational growth, leadership and change
“During this unprecedented time in world history, together we will double-down on our focus to drive systemic change and equitable outcomes for underrepresented communities and creators.”
“Creating this executive-level position was a principal recommendation of our Task Force because it is one significant way the Academy can demonstrate that issues of diversity are mission-critical and will be prioritized in the future.”
Tina Tchen, Recording Academy
Tina Tchen, Chair of the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force and president and CEO of TIME’S UP, added: “It’s imperative that the music industry continue to make strides toward a more equitable and inclusive industry, and I am pleased to see the Recording Academy take this important step toward change within its own walls today by appointing Valeisha Butterfield Jones as its first-ever Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
“Creating this executive-level position was a principal recommendation of our Task Force because it is one significant way the Academy can demonstrate that issues of diversity are mission-critical and will be prioritized in the future.”Music Business Worldwide