September 2016- After a nationwide search conducted by The Hawkins Company, City Manager Marc Ott hired Brion Oaks for the newly created post of Chief Equity Officer for the City of Austin. Brion Oaks, currently the vice president of health equity for the southwest affiliate of the American Heart Association, will start his work at the City of Austin on Oct. 17th. City Manager Marc Ott, who is highly confident in the hiring decision, said in a statement, “Mr. Oaks has a demonstrated commitment to improving equity in Central Texas. He’s been building relationships and alliances on the front line to address one of our most complex societal issues -health equity. It’s clear to me that his work in that area will serve him well as he helps guide Austin on our path to a more equitable future for all of our residents and employees.”
Prior to his 13-year tenure with the American Heart Association as a key advocate and influencer for health equity, Mr. Oaks worked for The Texas Medical Foundation and the Texas Healthy Kids Corporation as well as a legislative assistant for State Representative Dora Olivo, spanning a 20-year career in health care, education, and policy advocacy.
In response to a resolution, the Austin City Council approved in the FY2016 budget that established the Equity Office and the position of Chief Equity Officer. The newly created position for the City of Austin is a deliberate step toward advancing equity in all aspects of city operations. The Chief Equity Officer will join an executive leadership team committed to providing excellent services to the entire Austin community. Christine Boulware and Brett Byers lead the search for this coveted position that garnered over 125 applications.