INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Civil Rights Commission will have a new leader next week. Governor Mike Pence has named Rick Hite, the former chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the commission's new executive director.

Hite succeeds Jamal Smith, who announced in November he was leaving to take over athletics at Indianapolis Public Schools. Prior to leading IMPD, Hite served as deputy director of public safety in Indianapolis and also spend 32 years with the Baltimore City Police Department.

"Rick Hite is a man of integrity and a dedicated public servant, and I am proud to announce that he will serve an integral part of my administration as Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission," said Pence. "Rick’s proven track record of upholding the law and building consensus will serve Hoosiers well, and I’m honored to welcome him as a member of my Cabinet."

Hite is a native of Gary. He has previously served on the Department of Justice Advisory Committee, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Governors' Security Association, among other organizations.