Metropolitan Opera Appoints its First Chief Diversity Officer

Marcia Lynn Sells has been announced as the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer, effective immediately

PC: Heratch Photography

Ms. Sells previously served as Harvard Law School's Dean of Students and as an Assistant District Attorney for the State of New York. She also held positions at Columbia University, the NBA, Reuters, and the Dance Theater of Harlem.

As part of the senior management team, she will lead the Met’s Human Resources department and develop new diversity initiatives as well as enhance existing programs.

Her first initiative will be to implement the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan, which will affect the Met’s protocols for hiring, artistic planning, and audience-engagement.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Met’s very talented team, which is clearly committed to dismantling racial inequalities within the institution,” Ms. Sells said. “I look forward to expanding the work that the Met has embarked on to create a more inclusive workplace that values the diversity of its staff and the audiences it serves. As someone who started out as a dancer, it feels like a wonderful homecoming to return to a performing arts organization, especially one that is determined to elevate all voices and identities.”

“At a time when social justice rightly demands that we address the inequities of our art form, I’m pleased that we have chosen the ideal candidate in Marcia for implementing long overdue and necessary change,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager. “We need to create artistic and administrative pathways for people of color to achieve equity among our artists and artisans and for all of our employees and members of our board.”