US State Department: Investing in Diversity and Inclusion

Washington, DC (STL.News) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken released the following statement:

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.  Diversity and inclusion make us stronger, smarter, more creative, and more innovative.  And our diversity gives us a significant competitive advantage on the world stage.  This is something that the President, the Vice President, and I firmly believe.

For these reasons, I am committed to bringing the diversity and inclusion (D&I) work already underway at the State Department to the next level.  To make that happen, I am pleased to announce the creation of a new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) position at State. The CDIO will align and advance D&I policies across the department, bring transparency to these initiatives, and hold senior leadership accountable on progress.  Our goal is to incorporate diversity and inclusion into the Department’s work at every level.  And in a signal of my personal commitment to this work, the CDIO position will report directly to me.

Building a diverse and inclusive culture cannot only be a top-down effort. We need bureaus and teams across the department to join in this work and make it their own.   So I am also asking each of our bureaus to designate an existing Deputy Assistant Secretary to support that bureau’s own D&I efforts and to serve on a newly created D&I Leadership Council, which will bring senior leaders together from across the State Department to achieve the goals laid out in our soon-to-be-released Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

Together, these changes launch a significant focus and investment in our D&I work at State.  As I have often said, each one of us has the power and the opportunity to help create a stronger, fairer workplace, where everyone can contribute their talents and ideas and everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  That’s what this work is all about, and why we’re making it an early priority.  If we get this right — and I’m committed to see to it that we do — our efforts now will lay the foundation for a more diverse and inclusive State Department for years to come.