Portland Hires Highly Educated First Director of “Inclusion” from Iowa


Umaru W. Balde, Portland’s First “Inclusion” Director, Will Begin His New Position in April 2023.

Umaru W. Balde, of Iowa, has been hired by the city of Portland, as its first Jusrice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (JDEI) Director.  He will began in April at a yearly salary of $113,168.  Additionally, Mr. Balde can be reimbursed for up to $4,000. for qualifying moving expenses.

Mr. Balde  will serve as the staff person for the almost two year old “Racial, Equity Steering Committee” (RESC) .  Mr. Balde will advise the city council on the RESC’s report and how to address the other recommendations it includes. He will also help facilitate the city council’s 2023 goal of “looking at everything it does through a lens that priorities social, racial and justice equity.”

Reporting to the city manager, Mr. Balde will also advise it on issues of diversity, equity and inclusive practices throughout the city of Portland, both within city government and in the broader community.  Additionally, he will perform duties related to equitable and inclusive delivery of city services and operations, as well as administrative policy.

Mr. Balde will relocate from Iowa where he was most recently the Director of the Multicultural Family Center for the City of Dubuque.  Prior to that, he was an investigator for the Civil Rights Commission for the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mr. Balde is currently a doctoral candidate (ED.D) at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, with an anticipated completion in 2025.  He holds a Masters in Post Secondary Ed. and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa.  In addiion, he has attended the Hebrew University in Jersalem, and has a Masters in Comparative Religions and a Bachelors in English Literature from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.  He is fluent in numerous languages as well as various Arabic and African dialects.

“Perhaps his responsibilities will include the opportunity to consider how unequal the policies regarding landlords and tenants are in the city of Portland,” said Carol McCracken, munjoyhillnews.com.  “Perhaps he will make recommendations on how to make these ordinances more equitable for tenants.”