City Government, Community

Josephine Ayankoya appointed Hayward’s new Equity and Inclusion Officer

The Stack e-Newsletter | February 2024

February 13, 2024

Josephine Ayankoya

Josephine Ayankoya, who led racial equity initiatives at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Behavioral Health Services, has been appointed Equity and Inclusion Officer for the City of Hayward. She began work in her new role with the City on Jan. 16. 

Ayankoya will develop and operationalize a comprehensive equity framework that supports public-serving municipal departments and centers equity in all City business operations. She will be a key strategist in the City’s approach to prioritizing justice and racial equity in policies, programs, and practices. 

“Racial equity is a one-of-a-kind framework which provides abundant opportunities for quality improvement, cultural responsiveness, and just outcomes,” Ayankoya said. “I eagerly anticipate collaborating with my new colleagues to develop both the City of Hayward’s strategic priorities and initiatives focused on racial equity.”

The City’s new Equity and Inclusion Officer brings with her more than a decade of experience in developing, managing, and implementing diversity, equity and belonging strategies in government and community-based settings. For the past eight years, she worked at the City and County of San Francisco in a series of racial equity and program management capacities, including most recently as Chief Equity Officer at SFMTA.  Before this role, she worked in the San Francisco Department of Public Health and served in roles such as Interim Director for Behavioral Health Services equity programs, Program Manager for supportive housing and mental health programs, and Community Programs Manager for clinical HIV prevention research studies.  

“I am passionate about promoting behavior and systems change to advance the liberation of marginalized people, especially in ways that celebrate and affirm their culture,” Ayankoya said, adding she is inspired by her African American and Oakland roots, by way of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as her identity as a first-generation, Yoruba (Nigerian) American.  

Ayankoya’s selection for the Equity and Inclusion Officer role follows a competitive, executive search and recruitment. Ayankoya holds a master’s degree in public health from Emory University following a program of study focused on behavioral sciences and health education. Previously, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on arts and societies in the African Diaspora.