The head of the city School District Diversity Office, assigned to help solve racial problems at South Philadelphia High, has resigned after eight months on the job.

Theos McKinney left the district this week to accept an out-of-state job offer, said district spokesman Fernando Gallard.

"We wish him good luck and thank him for a wonderful job," Gallard said. "We will be looking for a suitable person to replace him."

Efforts to reach McKinney were unsuccessful.

McKinney, a lawyer, held the title of executive director of diversity education and training. He served as lead staff for the district's Task Force for Racial and Cultural Harmony, created after the Dec. 3 violence at South Philadelphia High.

That day, groups of mostly African American students carried out a series of attacks on about 30 Asians. The assaults sent seven Asian students to hospitals, triggered a one-week boycott by 50 students, and spurred formal inquiries by the district, the state Human Relations Commission, and the U.S. Justice Department.

The 80-person task force was organized into 11 committees, one for each of the district's academic regions, to assess the schools.

People who know McKinney say he has spoken of missing corporate life.

At the School Reform Commission meeting on Dec. 9, six days after the violence, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman announced a series of steps to help the school.

One was assistance from the new Office of Diversity, led by McKinney, who subsequently spent regular time inside the school.

McKinney joined the district in October. He previously was director of diversity for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Contact staff writer Jeff Gammage at 215-854-2415 or jgammage@phillynews.com.