PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney today announced Nefertiri Sickout as the City of Philadelphia’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, effective May 17, 2021. Nefertiri has been serving as Acting Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer following the departure of Nolan Atkinson in May 2020.
“During the past year, Nefertiri has demonstrated steadfast leadership while advocating for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I have seen first hand the impact that she has had ensuring the implementation of equitable programs in City government, which is critical as Philadelphia recovers from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While I am proud of what we’ve accomplished on this front, I also know there is still a great deal of progress that must be made in order to build an inclusive city that truly works for all. I’m confident that Nefertiri is the right person to help lead this charge.”
In her role, Nefertiri will lead the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which includes the Office of LGBT Affairs and the Office for People with Disabilities. The Office is pushing forward a dual strategy—in partnership across City departments—to center a racial equity framework and advance equitable workforce and community outcomes. Under the City’s workforce equity strategy, departments are creating annual plans to achieve greater representation of—and participation by—employees of color and other historically marginalized and under-represented groups in the City’s workforce. Under the City’s operational equity strategy, City departments are working to complete a racial equity assessment and action plan, setting forth more intentional efforts to produce greater racially equitable impact related to each agency’s budget, core services or programs, procurement and community engagement.
“Advocating for diverse, equitable, and inclusive programs has been a key pillar of this administration since 2016 and I’m proud to continue this critical work,” said Nefertiri Sickout. “I look forward to working with our City departments and partners in developing and implementing policies and programs that support all Philadelphians.”
Nefertiri joined the Mayor’s Office in August 2016, serving initially as an Assistant Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and later as a Deputy Diversity and Inclusion Officer, before becoming Acting Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Nefertiri worked at Pepper Hamilton LLP from 2010 to 2016, where she practiced law for eight years as a commercial litigation associate, handling complex contract litigation matters involving business and partnership disputes.
Nefertiri began her career in community-based advocacy around issues that affect the well-being of vulnerable families and children, including child welfare, early childhood education, adolescent health, and parenting education programs. She holds several degrees, including: a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Clark Atlanta University; a Master of Arts in infant special education from George Washington University; Master of Arts in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a law degree from Villanova University School of Law.
A headshot of Nefertiri Sickout is available for download here.