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Recording Academy Appoints Nzinga ‘Zing’ Shaw as Chief DEI Officer

Shaw is known for her pioneering diversity, equity and inclusion work with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

The Recording Academy has appointed Nzinga “Zing” Shaw as chief diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer. She reports directly to academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., while vp of DEI Ryan Butler reports to her.

Shaw oversees DEI efforts across all areas of the Recording Academy, including internal and external programs, organizational and staff culture, membership, awards and related initiatives.

“I am thrilled to introduce Zing to the Recording Academy as our Chief DEI Officer,” Mason said in a statement. “Her groundbreaking work in the DEI field speaks for itself and we are excited to see how she’ll amplify the Academy’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment and drive positive change throughout the organization.”


“I am proud to join the Recording Academy and work with a talented team of leaders to cultivate a culture of inclusion that fosters different points of view and empowers diverse colleagues,” Shaw said in a statement. “The organization has made incredible strides in diversity, equity and inclusion over the last few years, and I look forward to being part of the Academy’s continued commitment to supporting both our internal stakeholders and the music community at large.”

With direct support from Butler and Ricky Lyon, manager of DEI, Shaw is responsible for ensuring that diversity and inclusion are core business values and those standards are demonstrated throughout the organization.

Shaw is known for her pioneering DEI work with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, launching the MOSAIC symposium (Model of Shaping Atlanta through Inclusive Conversations) and making the Hawks the first professional sports team to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. Additionally, Shaw was the first chief DEI officer at three top organizations: Edelman, Starbucks and the National Basketball Association.

In addition to serving on the board of trustees of Fisk University, the board of directors of ColorComm and the board of advisors of Arctos Sports Partners, Shaw was appointed by former President Jimmy Carter to serve a six-year term on the board of councilors of the Carter Center.

Shaw holds a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a study abroad scholar at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.