Pittsburgh Gov Guide, A website of The Pittsburgh Foundation
Moon over the Pittsburgh skyline. Photo by Dave DiCello.

Office of Equity

The Office of Equity was established on May 8, 2019, through an executive order signed by Mayor Peduto, The Office of Equity was formed to support the Administration’s priorities to make Pittsburgh a livable city for all. According to Mayor Peduto’s executive order, the Office of Equity was created to conduct continuous in-depth analysis of outcomes, services and best practices of City departments to examine how they are contributing to inequity around the City of Pittsburgh. The Office, by design, is also expected to provide recommendations on policies and national best practices to address systemic inequities.

The Office of Equity is still titled “The Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment” in the City Code. Upon signage of the underlying executive order, the Office was informally retitled “Office of Equity.” The former Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment was formed in 2014 as a division of the Office of Mayor to provide equity, opportunity and inclusion for all Pittsburgh residents. The proposed managers and policy analysts that were to compose the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment were expected to be subject matter experts and policy specialists in critical areas that impact the equity of the City and focus on alleviating issues that exclude or evade residents from accessing opportunity or upward mobility. Under the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment structure, the position of the chief urban affairs officer served as the director of the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment. With the signing of the Office of Equity Executive Order, the role was amended to reflect the change of the entity and was titled “Chief Equity Officer.”

The Office of Equity is currently managed by Lindsay Powell, who was recently promoted to the role of City Chief Equity Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff after the recent departure of the former Deputy Chief of Staff, Majestic Lane. Given Ms. Powell’s brief time in the role, we were unable to gather substantive information regarding any strategic plans or goals for the office. Under the Peduto administration, this office primarily functions as the administrative liaison for the following City of Pittsburgh advisory groups, committees and commissions:

  • Equal Opportunity Review Commission.
  • Gender Equity Commission.
  • Welcoming Pittsburgh Steering Committee.
  • LGBTQIA+ Commission (coming soon).

Under the Chief Equity Officer’s purview are the following six (6) key areas, which are further discussed in greater detail in the “About the Agency—Description of Services” section of the report:

  • Youth and education.
  • Gender equity commission.
  • Economic opportunity.
  • Business inclusion.
  • Critical communities.
  • Special initiatives.

Download the full report

More about Office of Equity

Below is a list of content in the Office of Equity's Transition Brief (prepared by Thomas Consulting Group for The Pittsburgh Foundation). 


  • 2017 and 2018 RAND studies. The  RAND studies validate the need for the new Mayor to challenge their administration to move beyond the data by developing meaningful and proven strategies that address the many disparities highlighted in the RAND report.
  • Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race Report. This report was the City’s first to look at both gender and race together, and it compared Pittsburgh with 89 other cities across more than 40 factors. 
  • Key Recommendations. 
    • 1) Commission a formal disparity study to build the foundation of a robust equity procurement program for historically and certified socially and economically disadvantaged firms to increase access to opportunities with the City and its related agencies. c
    • 2) Issue a new equity-focused executive order that focuses on the overarching strategy, goals and measurable outcomes of the Office of Equity. 


  • Enabling legislation.
  • Organizational chart.
  • Description of services.
  • Agency goals and performance metrics.
  • Budget, staffing  and salaries.
  • Program and projects.
  • Opportunities and risks.
  • Reports.

Download the full report