Vector image of a diverse crowd of people

Aramark has formed an Executive Diversity Council, led by Chief Executive Officer, John Zillmer and Board Member Calvin Darden, according to a press release. The company also announced it has named Ashwani (Ash) Hanson to the new role of Chief Diversity & Sustainability Officer. Hanson is currently senior vice president, Human Resources for Aramark’s U.S. Food & Facilities business.

Aramark’s Executive Diversity Council will provide strategic focus and direction to advance diversity, equity and inclusion among its employees, client partners, customers, suppliers and communities. In addition to Zillmer and Darden, 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.

“Ensuring a company culture of diversity, equity and inclusion for all has always been one of Aramark’s core values,” said John Zillmer, CEO, Aramark. “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.”

Hanson, who joined Aramark in 2002, 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. She has served in a variety of leadership roles in diversity and inclusion, talent management, organizational development and human resources. A native of India, Hanson worked in the information technology and professional service industries in India and Malaysia. She earned her undergraduate degree from University of Madras in Tamil Nadu, India and a professional coaching certification from Columbia University in New York.

As Chief Diversity & Sustainability Officer, Hanson will lead all diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and the strategy and governance of Aramark’s 2025 sustainability plan, which is focused on positively impacting people and the planet for generations to come. This includes eight priorities, which align with the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations: zero hunger; good health & wellbeing; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequality; responsible consumption & production; climate change; protect ocean life; and reduce carbon footprint.