Food, facilities management and uniform services company Aramark announced that it has appointed  Ashwani Hanson as Chief Diversity & Sustainability Officer, and has also formed a new Executive Diversity Council.

The Executive Diversity Council will be jointly led by Aramark CEO John Zillmer, and Board Member Calvin Darden. The aim of the council will be to provide strategic focus and direction to advance diversity, equity and inclusion among the company’s employees, client partners, customers, suppliers and communities. The council will also include Hanson; Lynn McKee, Executive Vice President, Human Resources; Chief Operating Officers Marc Bruno, Brad Drummond and Carl Mittleman and the Vice Presidents of Human Resources & Diversity for their respective businesses.

Hanson has been at Aramark for nearly 18 years, most recently serving as SVP, Human Resources – US Food & Facilities. She has held a variety of HR roles at the company, including VP, Talent Management & Chief Diversity Officer. She also serves as a current board member of The Food Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. She was named one of the Top 15 Diversity Champions in 2019 by Diversity Global and was recognized as a diversity leader to watch by Black Enterprise in 2016. Hanson’s team will also include Jameel Rush, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Kathleen Cacciola, Vice President, Enterprise Sustainability; Jami Leveen, Vice President, Community Partnerships; and Natily Santos, Vice President, Specialty Supply Chain.

The position of Chief Diversity & Sustainability Officer is a new role at Aramark. In this new position, Hanson will be responsible for leading all diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and the strategy and governance of Aramark’s 2025 sustainability plan, which the company said is focused on positively impacting people and the planet for generations to come. The sustainability plan is aligned with 8 of the UN SDGs: zero hunger; good health & wellbeing; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequality; responsible consumption & production; climate change; protect ocean life; and reduce carbon footprint.

CEO John Zillmer said:

“Ensuring a company culture of diversity, equity and inclusion for all has always been one of Aramark’s core values. However, we can and will do more to reduce inequality, support and grow our communities, and protect our planet. With our new Executive Diversity Council and Ash’s leadership driving strategic focus and commitment at the most senior levels of our company, we look forward to developing and executing plans that will advance diversity and sustainability within Aramark and enhance our impact, enabling a brighter future for our team members and communities.”