FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2021
Mayor Carter Announces New Director for
Department of Human Rights &
Equal Economic Opportunity
Kristien Butler to Lead Department That Oversees Accessibility and Economic Opportunities for all Residents and Businesses
Saint Paul, MN - Today, Mayor Melvin Carter announced Kristien Butler as the new director of Saint Paul’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO).
“The work of our Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity is critical in our efforts to rebuild,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “I look forward to Kristien leading HREEO, as we continue serving our community amid these challenging times.”
“I am genuinely honored and thrilled by this appointment. I completely understand the significant mandate placed on me as Director of HREEO and readily accept it with humility and gratitude,” said Butler. “Many thanks to Mayor Carter and the entire Carter Administration for their continued support of HREEO over these past months and for entrusting me with the leadership of such a crucial City department. Also, many thanks to the entire staff of HREEO for their tireless commitment in service to Saint Paul; this work would not be possible without them.”
About Kristien Butler
Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Butler has called Minnesota his second home for the past twenty years. He attended Saint John’s University in Collegeville, before attending William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in Saint Paul where he received a Juris Doctor.
He previously served in the Office of Equity & Diversity in Minneapolis Public Schools, then served as an Assistant Public Defender for the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office for nearly a decade where his litigation practice ranged from the defense of petty misdemeanor offenses to homicide. He joined the Saint Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity earlier this year as deputy director, and has served as interim director since April.
Butler is also a founding member of the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s Committee for Equality & Justice, having served the State in this capacity for seven years. His appointment is on the December 15th agenda of the Saint Paul City Council.
About Saint Paul’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity
Saint Paul’s Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO) champions justice and equity by confronting issues of discrimination and providing innovative avenues for accessibility and economic opportunities for all residents and businesses. HREEO achieves these goals by consistently delivering quality customer service, being a voice and advocate within the city and metro area, building relationships throughout the community, and enforcing laws.
The Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity is composed of several divisions that perform a diverse array of functions including:
- Contract Compliance and Business Development
- Human Rights
- Labor Standards Enforcement and Education
- Procurement (Contract & Analysis Services)
The Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity staffs and partners with several advisory boards, which work to better inform policymakers including:
- Advisory Committee on Aging
- Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity Commission
- Labor Standards Advisory Committee
- Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities
- Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission