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Sunday, August 3, 2014

WHO's Who at the NYC Department of Education: Mecca Sykes-Santana, Esq., Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York

Mecca used to be the Director of the NYC DOE Office of Equal Opportunity, and in my opinion, she never received a complaint from anyone that did not end up putting the Complainant into a termination hearing.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
President, ADVOCATZ

Mecca Sykes-Santana, Esq.

Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York
Edit experience Current
  1. New York State - Executive Chamber
Edit experience Previous
  1. NYC Department of Education,
  2. NYS Commission of Investigation,
  3. New York County ( Manhattan) District Attorney's Office
Edit experience
Edit education Education
  1. Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Edit education

  • Public Profile



Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York

New York State - Executive Chamber
– Present (1 year)Manhattan
Responsible for creating new initiatives to enhance diversity, inclusion and minority and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) participation, while also reforming and strengthening the state’s existing programs that currently support these endeavors. Perform many important tasks related to diversity and inclusion, including advising the Governor on policies relating to workforce diversity and the growth of MWBEs; monitoring diversity compliance in the various state agencies and authorities; serving on the state procurement council; and serving as the Governor’s liaison to organizations representing MWBEs, organizations related to diversity in the state workforce and state contracting, and the small business advisory council. The Chief Diversity Officer is one of three Executive Chamber positions, along with the positions of Secretary and Counsel to the Governor, required by New York State statute.

Executive Director EEO & Diversity Management

NYC Department of Education
(5 years 9 months)
Supervise investigations of Civil Rights violations and employment discrimination throughout the agency for approximately 144,000 employees and 1.1 million students. Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local Equal Employment Opportunity laws and reporting requirements. Established the agency’s Diversity and Inclusion program. Created and implemented the agency’s Strategic Diversity Plan designed to promote workforce diversity and supplier (Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprises) diversity. Promulgate regulations, create policies, and implement initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and equal employment opportunities. Liaison to federal, state, and local civil rights agencies. Represent the agency in federal, state, local, and internal administrative proceedings. Create and conduct EEO/Diversity & Inclusion training and professional development programs. Engage in assorted diversity outreach initiatives. Supervise investigators and attorneys in the EEO Complaint Unit, Diversity Management Unit, Disability Rights Compliance Unit, EEO Training Unit, and EEO Contract Compliance Unit. Conduct agency-wide analyses of various workforce initiatives designed to ensure that EEO/Diversity & Inclusion considerations are reflected.
*Presenter - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Annual Excel Conference – August 2008
*Presenter - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Annual Excel Conference – July 2009
*Member - NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services EEO & Diversity Working Group

Senior Assistant Counsel

NYS Commission of Investigation
(2 years 11 months)
Duties included the investigation of matters concerning public peace, public safety, and public justice within the State of New York, including fraud, municipal corruption, mismanagement in State and local government, organized crime, and assorted criminal matters. Responsible for conducting public/private hearings and issuing reports with recommendations to the Office of the Governor and NYS Legislature.

Assistant District Attorney

New York County ( Manhattan) District Attorney's Office
(4 years 7 months)
Trial Bureau
Duties included drafting felony and misdemeanor criminal complaints. Conducted criminal investigations, motion practice, witness interviews, crime scene investigations, and plea negotiations with defense attorneys and courts. Conducted Grand Jury presentations, hearings, and trials in vertical prosecutions of misdemeanor and felony cases. Supervised attorneys and law enforcement officers in the Early Case Assessment Bureau.

Domestic Violence Unit
Duties included the investigation and prosecution of felony cases involving domestic violence, provided counseling and referral services to victims, negotiated alternative dispute resolutions with defense attorneys and courts.

Welfare Fraud Unit
Duties included the investigation and prosecution of felony cases involving welfare fraud, theft of government benefits, health insurance fraud and prescription medication fraud. Collaborated with State and Federal agencies and negotiated restitution based dispositions.

Sex Crimes Unit
Duties included the investigation and prosecution of felony sex crimes. Conducted crime scene analysis, videotaped interrogations, hearings and trials of sex crimes cases.

Legal Hiring Committee
Duties included conducting in-house and on-campus interviews, evaluations and overall assessment of potential candidates for employment with the Office.


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