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Federal Government Real Estate Arm Appoints First Senior Equity Adviser

GSA Senior Adviser to the Administrator on Equity Andrea M. O'Neal

The agency that controls the federal government's 376M SF real estate portfolio has created a new role to address diversity, equity and inclusion.

The General Services Administration announced Friday it appointed Andrea M. O'Neal as the senior adviser to the administrator on equity. O'Neal has 20 years of experience working on equity, racial justice, diverse workforce development and economic advancement. 

She most recently served as founder and principal of Race.Equity.Work, a racial equity services practice, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also spent eight years with nonprofit Management Leadership for Tomorrow, four years with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and five years with Merrill Lynch.

O'Neal has also served as a research advisory member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Equitable Futures project and as a task force member for Brown University's Presidential Task Force on Anti-Black Racism. She received her bachelor's degree in business and managerial economics from Brown University in 2003. 

President Joe Biden in April nominated Robin Carnahan as GSA administrator, but she has yet to be confirmed, and the agency continues to be led by acting Administrator Katy Kale. 

“I am thrilled to have Andrea join GSA as Senior Advisor for Equity," Kale said in a release. "With her leadership and experience, we will build on our existing efforts and continue to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility throughout GSA’s policies, practices, and programs."

The creation of this new GSA role comes as the real estate industry is grappling with its own need to address diversity and inclusion, as many segments of the industry remain overwhelmingly White.

A host of industry executives made new commitments after George Floyd's murder sparked nationwide protests on racial justice, and they have taken a variety of actions over the past year, from hiring new diversity heads to implementing numeric hiring goals.