The FHFA this week announced that it has appointed Debra Chew as the new Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity and Fairness (OEOF).
The Rockville, Maryland resident will step into the role September 28.
The FHFA last January created the OEOF in an effort, according to the administration, "to elevate the importance of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Alternative Dispute Resolution, and anti-harassment functions within FHFA and reaffirm FHFA's commitment to a workplace free of harassment and discrimination."
Chew, a 25-year veteran practitioner in EEO, diversity, and civil rights, came to FHFA from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she served as the Director for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion since 2012.
Prior to NIH, Chew held similar equality-focused leadership positions at the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While at the FDA, Chew was awarded the Health and Human Services Award for Excellence in Management, the highest award for leadership at the Department.
She is a licensed attorney who practiced in the areas of employment discrimination and medical malpractice defense both for governmental and private entities. Chew is a graduate of the University of Virginia and received her law degree from American University, Washington College of Law.
In its annual report to Congress last April, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that its minority and female worker population increased in 2019.
(The total number of minority females rose to 24.24% as of December 2019 from 23.43% in 2015. )
Of the 45 employees hired in 2019, minorities and women represented 51.11% and 44.44%, respectively.
The topic of diversity and inclusion has been garnering more attention in 2020, and the House Financial Service Committee held a hearing last February to review data on diversity and inclusion with banking institutions in the U.S.