116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Elizabeth Buch has stepped into a newly created role with the city of Cedar Rapids to lead its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Buch started recently as the city’s first diversity, equity and inclusion manager, where she will lead steps to promote and strengthen those priorities within the organization through programs, training and services, according to a news release.
This position reports directly to City Manager Jeff Pomeranz and will work collaboratively with the human resources director and other senior leadership to establish and execute the city’s first comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy.
“The city of Cedar Rapids is committed to advancing efforts to create an organization that is reflective of our community and welcoming to all,” Pomeranz said in a statement. “We are looking forward to working with Elizabeth to create a focused diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy that will help us meet both short- and long-term goals for the city.”
Before working for the city, Buch most recently was the Cedar Rapids site manager for the nonprofit Urban Dreams, with a focus on workforce development initiatives as part of the city’s partnership with the group. Urban Dreams in Cedar Rapids operates out of the Ladd Library’s Opportunity Center, 3750 Williams Blvd. SW.
While she worked with Urban Dreams, Buch successfully connected more than 35 individuals with jobs, opened and operated a food pantry in an underserved area of Cedar Rapids and partnered with the Cedar Rapids Community School District to have 14 student interns focus on marginalized populations.
Buch also partnered with Mount Mercy University, Iowa Prison Industries and Google to create soft skill-development training for incarcerated individuals to help reduce recidivism in Iowa.
Previously, Buch worked at Collins Aerospace as the diversity and community relations liaison as well as the site contact for the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts.
In previous roles, Buch coordinated multiple high-profile events, including United Way of East Central Iowa’s Day of Caring, Women’s Leadership Conference, Brucemorchestra and Introduce a Girl to Engineering.
“For the past eight years, I’ve rooted myself in our community by building strong and trusted relationships with community members, leaders and nonprofits focusing on building opportunities from the most challenging situations,” Buch in a statement.
“I’m truly excited to carry forward all these elements for a strategic, pragmatic and intentional approach in this role,” she said.
“I believe in our city, and I’m invigorated by the efforts put forth by the city of Cedar Rapids. The creation of this role shows the commitment the city has made to create a better community for everyone.”
Buch holds an associate degree in business management from Kirkwood Community College, a bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in strategic leadership from Mount Mercy University. She also earned certification by Columbia University as an inclusive teacher within college classrooms.
A Joplin, Mo., native, Buch grew up in various cities and states, graduating from high school in Decorah.
Cedar Rapids had worked with Illinois-based firm GovHR USA for $21,000 to conduct the search process for the position, which the City Council approved creating in August 2020.
According to the brochure advertising the position, the salary hiring range is $80,371.20 to $94,452.80 plus benefits. The full range extends to $108,492.80.
Cedar Rapids in June had restarted the search because a candidate offered the job and the city were “unable to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement as to employment terms.”
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