By Jonathan Sperling
State Attorney General Letitia James announced the creation of the first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Office in the Office of the Attorney General on June 27, paving the way for the statewide office to better reflect New York’s residents.
“New York’s vitality is in its rich diversity,” James said in a statement. “My office is deeply committed to creating an environment of acceptance and open-mindedness, both internally and throughout the state.
Attorney Sandra Grannum, a 17-year veteran of the state Attorney General’s Office and a Georgetown University Law Center graduate, will lead the new office, effective immediately. As the director of legal recruitment, Grannum has overseen the recruitment and hiring of all attorneys and managerial staff, while simultaneously expanding the diversity in regard to the agency’s recruitment efforts.
Grannum also launched an array of diversity programs at the office, including inviting speakers and hosting events to recognize Black History, PRIDE, Asian Pacific History, Hispanic History and Women’s History Month.
Before her time with the Office of the Attorney General, Grannum worked as the vice president of corporate legal affairs at Avanti Corporate Health Systems and as the senior law clerk for the Hon. George Bundy Smith at the New York State Court of Appeals. Smith was a former Freedom Rider who was arrested at an Alabama bus station in 1961.
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been the clarion call of Attorney General James throughout her career, and the urgency to heed that call is now greater than ever,” Grannum said in a statement following her appointment.
“As she leads that effort from this office, I am honored and excited to be a part of the work that will impact the lives of so many New Yorkers.”