U.S. State Department creates position of diversity officer
By Humeyra Pamuk
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced the creation of a State Department chief diversity officer, an effort to make the diplomatic corps more representative and part of President Joe Biden’s pledge to work to heal U.S. racial divisions.
The diversity and inclusion officer will report directly to Blinken, according to a statement that did not say who would be named to the position.
Diversity, equity and racial justice rose to the top of the national agenda last year. The police killing of Black man George Floyd in May after years of such deaths sparked nationwide and global protests that highlighted systemic bias in many American institutions.
“The State Department has the honor of representing the American people to the world. To do that well, we must recruit and retain a workforce that truly reflects America,” Blinken said.
The move reflects a sea change from the administration of former President Donald Trump, who directed federal agencies last year to end programs deemed divisive by the White House. The State Department suspended all training programs for employees related to diversity and inclusion.
During Biden’s first days in office, the State Department resumed that training, and he promised more action to heal the country’s racial divide.
Deputy assistant secretaries from State Department bureaus will serve on a new leadership council, and the department will soon release a diversity and inclusion strategic plan, Blinken said.
The new diversity officer will advance policies in this area and “hold senior leadership accountable on progress. Our goal is to incorporate diversity and inclusion into the Department’s work at every level,” Blinken said in a statement.
With 76,000 employees globally, racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented at the department, particularly in senior ranks, according to an independent federal watchdog report released last year.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
More Top Stories
Republican attorneys general are determined to mount numerous legal challenges against President Joe Biden, creating a formidable roadblock to the president’s agenda.read more
Biden Nominee To Head ATF Was Involved In Waco Massacre, Oklahoma City Bombing, Ruby Ridge and Fast & Furious
Joe Biden’s anti-Second Amendment nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has a background ripe with controversy.read more
Rioters in Portland, Oregon, allegedly set fire to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building late Saturday nightread more
Nearly 700 Americans were flagged in a secret Chinese security database during their visits to China’s Shanghai, according to a leaked database seen by The …read more
Maryland’s Democrat-controlled General Assembly on Saturday voted to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes on three major police reform measures, which included the repeal of …read more
A new financial report confirmed President Trump’s assertion that not only did he not profit off the presidency, but actually grew less wealthy as a …read more