Cieslewicz praised Nuñez at the announcement and said his expectations for the DCR's first director are high.
"Lucia Nuñez is an outstanding community leader who will get the Department of Civil Rights off to a strong start," Cieslewicz said in a release. "She has the experience and passion to effectively lead our city's efforts against discrimination. I am confident that Lucia will be an effective advocate for all members of our increasingly diverse community, and will keep civil rights issues high on the city's agenda."
Nuñez led the Equal Rights Division in the state Department of Workforce Development and served as deputy secretary prior to accepting her new position. Her experience in civil rights is not limited to her service with the DWD, however. Nuñez previously served as executive director for Centro Hispano of Dane County, a group that encourages Hispanics and Latinos to be involved community members, from 1999 to 2003. Nuñez also spent seven years as a senior curriculum specialist at Stanford University and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras from 1985 to 1989.
Nuñez listed what she hopes to accomplish in her new leadership position.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to create Madison's Department of Civil Rights," Nuñez said in a release. "My goal is to build this department in a way that is welcoming to all who need and deserve to have their rights protected."
The DCR is a combination of the city's Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunities Commission into a single agency. It seeks to provide a single point of contact for citizens who wish to address issues like discrimination and bias.
George Twigg, communications director for the mayor, said as a finalist, Nuñez passed through an intense screening process, which included a questionnaire reviewed by a panel, an interview before a panel and an interview with the mayor before being selected for the position.
Nuñez is expected to begin at her position in January after Common Council approves her contract. She will also be a part of the mayor's management team.