Jul 20 2011
Salt Lake City - Governor Gary R. Herbert has named Claudia Nakano the new director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA). OEA, recently restructured due to budget reductions, includes the new Multicultural Commission, unveiled by the Governor on June 22.
"With her solid understanding of Utah's growing and diverse ethnic community, as well as her energy to engage all partners in addressing critical issues, Claudia is ideally suited to coordinate the State's efforts," said the Governor. "I am truly excited about our opportunities for collaboration and dialog across ethnicities and through barriers."
"I am honored to build on the work and dedication of previous staff," Nakano said, "and I look forward to collaborating with leaders of the ethnic community, advisory councils, state agencies and political entities in the new Multicultural Commission. We have a unique and historic opportunity to solidify meaningful partnerships and address the issues that challenge our ethnic community."
For the past six years, Nakano has served as public information officer for the Utah Department of Community and Culture. Prior to that, she worked for the Hansen and Clark Planetariums. She has also served on the Asian Advisory Council, the Japanese-American Citizens League, the Salt Lake County Council on Diversity Affairs and the University of Utah's Marriott Library Ski Archives Board. In addition, she has been a board member of a national credit union, and owned her own marketing firm and a retail business.
Governor Herbert has tasked the Multicultural Commission with addressing issues like the educational achievement gap, healthcare disparities and joblessness among Utah's ethnic community. Co-chaired by Lt. Governor Greg Bell and an ethnic community leader, the commission will consist of the executive directors of seven state agencies, the Refugee Services Office director, chairs of the current ethnic advisory councils, two legislators, ethnic business leaders, ethnic chamber of commerce representatives, and ethnic community representatives. The collaborative roundtable model for the new Multicultural Commission is similar to the successful Homeless Coordinating Committee that formulated Utah's acclaimed Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.