July 09, 2019
Two years after taking over as executive director of the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, Amber Hikes will step down from the position on July 31, city officials said Tuesday.
Hikes led several initiatives for trans-inclusion, inaugurated the city's annual LGBTQ State of the Union and worked to advance non-profit diversity through the LGBTQ Community Leadership Pipeline, among other accomplishments.
"It is with mixed emotions that I accept Amber’s resignation — sadness for our administration as we lose a phenomenal team member, but excitement for Amber as she takes on a new and exciting challenge," Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.
"Serving the City of Philadelphia and our LGBTQ residents has been an absolute honor," Hikes said. "I am in awe of what we've created, healed and instituted in the last two years. From addressing racial discrimination in the Gayborhood and increasing visibility for Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ community with our More Color, More Pride flag, to developing policies that make city institutions and agencies more inclusive."
In a statement on Facebook, Hikes said that her resignation came from a sense that passing the torch was the right thing to do.
"I did this job with every ounce of myself and those close to me know the toll this work has taken – mentally, emotionally and physically," Hikes wrote. "While that was my conscious sacrifice, this kind of endless dedication to our work is neither healthy nor sustainable."
The city of Philadelphia is currently accepting applications for Hikes' replacement. Senior staff from the Office of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will handle day-to-day activities in the interim.