Mayor Rybak Hails Council Approval of Velma Korbel as Civil Rights Director
State of Minnesota Commissioner of Human Rights to lead Minneapolis department
April 30, 2010 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Mayor R.T. Rybak hailed the City Council’s unanimous approval today of his nomination of Velma Korbel as director of the City of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.
Ms. Korbel joins the City from the State of Minnesota Department of Human Rights, where she has served as commissioner since 2003.
"Velma Korbel brings to Minneapolis a long record of effectively enforcing civil-rights laws and mandates. She is a strong manager and problem-solver who has already begun to make her mark on our Department of Civil Rights. I know that she will instill confidence throughout the community and within the City in the department’s mission and responsiveness," said Mayor Rybak.
City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren, who chairs the Committee of the Whole that has oversight of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, said, "It’s hard to imagine someone more perfectly qualified for this position at this time. I believe Ms. Korbel will run Civil Rights in an accountable way that gives the community and the City Council confidence in the department’s performance. I look forward to working with her."
Ms. Korbel has worked in the field of human rights for over 20 years. Since 2003, she has served as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, where she has led the department through several improvements in case management, quality control, alternative-dispute resolution and outreach. Highlights of Ms. Korbel’s accomplishments include:
• Of 2,209 new charges filed with the Department from January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009, 98.5% — or all but 35 — were resolved within the legally mandated one-year window. Of those 35 remaining charges, all were resolved within 54 weeks of original filing.
• In 2008, Ms. Korbel also instituted a new workflow-based case-management system to replace the 1994 case-tracking system that was no longer supportable. The new system will be fully implemented in 2010.
• Ms. Korbel instituted a Quality Assurance Team within the Department’s complaint/case-processing function, which led to a 50% reduction in the number of cases returned to investigators.
• Ms. Korbel also instituted cost savings and efficiencies in response to budgetary pressures.
Prior to heading the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Ms. Korbel worked for nine years for the Metropolitan Council, including as director of equal opportunity for the last four. As director of equal opportunity, she established the compliance-monitoring regime for Hiawatha light rail design and construction that led to that project’s exceeding its goals for contracting with minority- and women-owned business enterprises, as well as for hiring of women and people of color.
Ms. Korbel also served as acting director of equal opportunity and diversity management for the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission. Prior to entering public service, she worked in the human-rights and affirmative-action field in the private sector.
Ms. Korbel holds an M.B.A. from American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, Georgia, and a B.B.A. from National University in San Diego, California. She is a veteran of the United States Navy, where she served for six years.
A summary of Ms. Korbel’s professional experience and education is below. A photo of Ms. Korbel is available on request.
Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Director, Equal Opportunity 1997–2001
Administrative Manager, Metro Plant 1992–1997
Metropolitan Waste Control Commission
Acting Director, Equal Opportunity/Diversity Management 1991–1992
Senior Equal Opportunity Consultant 1990–1991
Volt Information Services (Orange CA)
Personnel Coordinator 1989–1990
Looney & Associates (Irvine CA)
Office Manager 1986–1989
American Intercontinental University (Atlanta GA)
National University (San Diego CA)
United States Navy 1979–1985
Published Apr. 30, 2010