West Des Moines Community Schools announced it has hired Anthony Ferguson Jr. as executive director of equity, inclusion and diversity, following approval by the West Des Moines Board of Education on Aug. 10. He will begin his new position on Aug. 17. The role was created in support of the six actions for equity the WDMCS Board of Education and administration committed to on June 22. Ferguson was most recently a victim rights coordinator in the Iowa attorney general’s office. Before that, he was a primary counselor with House of Mercy in Des Moines. He also serves Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a prominent African American fraternity, as regional executive director for the Midwestern region. With a strong mindset surrounding equity, Ferguson builds collaborative cultures, seeks data-driven solutions, and connects data and research to the immediate, real-life challenges facing communities of color, district officials said. Ferguson has a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Iowa, and a master’s degree in mental health counseling and a doctorate in educational leadership from Drake University.