Power grid operator Southwest Power Pool of Little Rock announced that it has hired Tamika Edwards as its director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Edwards brings more than 20 years of experience in social justice, public policy and community engagement to SPP. She officially joins the company March 28.
"She brings extensive experience in creating and promoting equitable and inclusive practices," SPP Vice President of Human Capital Kelly Carney said in a news release. "With her help, we will continue to build SPP into a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization known for its strong corporate culture and benefits."
SPP's board in October approved recommendations to further develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, which included designating oversight of a formal program.
Edwards previously worked at Central Arkansas Water as special adviser to the CEO on diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement. In that role, she identified key performance indicators to measure the organization’s progress toward its equity goals. She also recommended strategic improvements to operationalize diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace and the community.
"I am both personally and professionally committed to ensuring diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces," Edwards said in the release. "I’m excited to carry out this important work at SPP where its talented team of leaders and professional staff is committed to fostering an environment in which opportunity exists for all, and every employee feels welcome and valued."
Edwards was the executive director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College before she joined Central Arkansas Water. Other past positions include director of governmental affairs at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, director of public policy at Southern Bancorp Community partners and community affairs specialist to former U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson in February appointed Edwards to the Commission on the Status of Women in Arkansas, which will study and recommend ways to eliminate barriers women face in the workplace.
Edwards holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, a master's in professional and technical writing from UA Little Rock, and a bachelor's in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Not-for-profit SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western states.