KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger announced on Wednesday that she has hired Attorney and New Paltz Town Board member Esi M. Lewis, Esq., as the county’s Chief Diversity Officer. The position has also been elevated from the personnel department to a cabinet-level position in the County Executive’s Office.

“Esi brings a wealth of experience as an attorney, educator, and advocate to this important position, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she has joined our team,” said County Executive Jen Metzger. “As a member of the Executive staff, Esi will work with all departments and help to ensure that equity, diversity, and inclusion are guiding values in how we operate and what we do as a county government.”

Lewis was recently appointed to the New Paltz Police Reform and Reinvention Committee, where she worked collaboratively with fellow volunteers and the New Paltz Police Department to build a model for police reform. Lewis made history in January 2022 when she took office as the first Black member of the New Paltz Town Board. She is an Ulster County native, born and raised in New Paltz.

“I am honored to be able to serve our County as Chief Diversity Officer, and to join the incredible team that County Executive Jen Metzger has put together,” said Ulster County Chief Diversity Officer Esi Lewis. “I have hit the ground running working to bring equity to the forefront of the County’s decision-making and helping to expand programming and services to historically under-represented populations. I am ready and eager for this new challenge.”