This week, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks announced Karen Wilkins-Mickey as its first-ever Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a newly-created role for the organization, Black Enterprise reports.
Within her new position, Wilkins-Mickey will lead the Seahawks’ overall diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and act as a liaison for the team, its senior management group, players and the community to lead initiatives and programs.
She will report directly to Seahawks President Chuck Arnold.
“I am thrilled to welcome Karen to the Seahawks family as our organization’s first Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,” said Arnold in a statement. “Our organization is guided upon core values of acceptance and understanding that help us create a culture of respect, equality and inclusiveness both on and off the field. Over the past year, we’ve looked to take additional meaningful steps to directly address inequality and social justice efforts and felt it was critical to add this position to our senior leadership team. We look forward to Karen’s vast expertise in this area to further strengthen our organization as we strive to continually make a lasting impact both internally and in our community.”
According to the organization’s announcement, Wilkins-Mickey will also oversee the team’s internal DEI Council and represent it as its liaison for NFL social justice initiatives.
Additionally, she will also operate as an internal consultant to department leaders across the team’s football and business dealings, where she will ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are all a part of the organization’s decision-making processes.
Black Enterprise shares that Wilkins-Mickey brings with her over 20 years of diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership experience to the Seahawks. Prior to the joining the team, she served as Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Alaska Airlines, and held previous diversity and inclusion leadership roles within Expedia Group and Microsoft.
She also recently completed the first McKinsey Black Executive Leadership Program and serves as a founding member of the DEI Community of Practice — a growing network of professionals committed to establishing and enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion practices within Seattle-area organizations.
As a seasoned leader in her field and community, Wilkins-Mickey was recently appointed to the Leadership Council for UNCF, which supports local minority students by providing funds needed to support their college education.
Back in 2018, she was also honored by the Seattle Mariners as part of African American Heritage Day, where they recognized her for her contributions to the Northwest community.