Mecca E. Santana is the Senior Vice President of Diversity Inclusion, and Community Engagement for Westchester Medical Center Health Network. In this role, she is responsible for building and leveraging relationships with external stakeholders in the diverse communities that make up the Hudson Valley, while also ensuring that all internal organizational policies and procedures across the hospital network are aligned with diversity and inclusion best practices.
Prior to this position, Ms. Santana served as the Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York. Appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013, Ms. Santana worked on initiatives designed to promote workforce diversity and inclusion, and increase Minority & Women Owned Business (MWBE) procurement opportunities.
Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Ms. Santana was the Executive Director of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Management for the New York City Department of Education, where she ensured department-wide compliance with all EEO laws and diversity policies by overseeing the Discrimination Complaint Unit, the Contract Compliance Unit, the Training Unit, the Disability Rights Unit, Title IX Unit, and the Diversity Management Unit – a unit that Ms. Santana created.
Ms. Santana began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted assorted criminal matters as a member of the Trial Division, the Sex Crimes Unit, the Domestic Violence Unit, and the Welfare Fraud Unit.
Ms. Santana holds certifications from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Equal Employment Opportunity Studies and Diversity Management and received her law degree from Hofstra University School of Law. An upstate native, she is a graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, where she double majored in Criminal Justice and Political Science.
Ms. Santana has been the recipient of numerous awards/accolades and is a sought after public speaker presenting on the topics of diversity, creating inclusive environments, and leadership.