PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ The state has named its first associate director of diversity.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Tuesday that Cheryl Burrell will lead the new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Opportunity. She will help with the administration’s efforts to increase diversity in the state workforce and to afford more opportunities within state contracts to minority business enterprises.

Burrell has worked for the state for more than 34 years. She was the administrator of the Office of Human Resources, Outreach, and Diversity and has worked at the Department of Administration since 1999. She previously worked for the Rhode Island Attorney General.

Burrell says she is humbled to have the opportunity to lead the state in advancing the goals of diversity and inclusion.