The Seahawks on Tuesday announced that Karen Wilkins-Mickey will fill their new role of vice president of diversity, equity & inclusion.

Wilkins-Mickey will lead the Seahawks’ overall diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, the team announced. She also will act as a liaison for the Seahawks, their senior management group, players and the community to drive strategic DEI initiatives and programs. She will report to Seahawks President Chuck Arnold.

“I am thrilled to welcome Karen to the Seahawks family as our organization’s first vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Arnold said in a statement. “Our organization is guided upon core values of acceptance and understanding that help us create a culture of respect, equality and inclusiveness both on and off the field. Over the past year, we’ve looked to take additional meaningful steps to directly address inequality and social justice efforts and felt it was critical to add this position to our senior leadership team. We look forward to Karen’s vast expertise in this area to further strengthen our organization as we strive to continually make a lasting impact both internally and in our community.”

Wilkins-Mickey also will oversee the Seahawks’ internal DEI Council and will represent it as its liaison for NFL social-justice initiatives. She will act as an internal consultant to department leaders across the Seahawks’ football and business operations to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are part of the decision-making process throughout the organization.

Wilkins-Mickey previously was director of diversity and inclusion for Alaska Airlines and has held similar leadership roles within Expedia Group and Microsoft in a career spanning more than 20 years.

She also recently completed the first McKinsey Black Executive Leadership Program and is a founding member of the DEI Community of Practice, which is a growing network of professionals committed to establishing and enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion practices within Seattle-area organizations. 

Wilkins-Mickey was honored in 2018 by the Mariners as part of African-American Heritage Day, when she was recognized for her contributions to the Northwest community. She also is a certified diversity recruiter.

A native of New York City, Wilkins-Mickey has bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University-Chico.