Wake County Hires First Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Photo of Danya Perry, Wake County's new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director
Danya Perry

Wake County is firmly committed to becoming an even more diverse, equitable and inclusive employer. County Manager David Ellis today announced that he has hired Danya Perry to lead that effort, as the county’s first DEI director.

“We’re excited for Danya to join Team Wake at this pivotal time,” Manager Ellis said. “He brings more than 25 years of proven experience to this new role, and we know he’ll use it to build on the momentum we’ve already generated around this important issue.”

Prior to joining Wake County, Perry held two critical leadership positions for the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. He served as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity, where he led the Triangle DEI Alliance, and as Director of Equitable Economic Development.

In those roles, he has worked closely with the county to carry out the Board of Commissioners’ goal to attract companies – large and small – to our community that will pay their employees a living wage, offer competitive medical benefits, provide paid parental leave and protect their staff from discrimination.

“I’m thrilled to join Wake County and work in new ways to enhance its clear focus on diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Perry. “The county has already laid the groundwork by forming the WakeUP! committee to support DEI efforts, and I look forward to growing and expanding their good work.”

As the county’s DEI director, Perry will lead Wake County’s efforts to advocate for access, equity, inclusion and diversity through innovative policies, programs and services. He will be responsible for:

  • Creating a clear vision and effective strategy for developing a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • Providing strategic direction for training initiatives on cultural competency, gender differences, disability, sexual harassment and other topics designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values; and
  • Leading strategic initiatives that promote belonging and support working environments where all have an opportunity to succeed.

His first day in this new role will be Jan. 14, 2022.   

Prior to joining the Raleigh Chamber, Perry worked for Communities in Schools of North Carolina for 12 years, most recently serving as vice president of youth development.

Perry is a North Carolina native who grew up in New Bern. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and his Master of Arts in Public Administration from NC State University.

Press Release