State Department to Spend $2.5M to Create Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In this Feb. 4, 2021, photo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington. The Biden administration on Feb. 18 rescinded former president Donald Trump’s restoration of U.N. sanctions on Iran, an announcement that could help Washington move toward rejoining the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at …
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The State Department on Tuesday notified Congress it intends to spend $2.5 million to establish the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the Office of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to State Department documents.

The documents, obtained by Breitbart News, showed the State Department intends to create the new office to support its newly established position of Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) and to reprogram $2.5 million from elsewhere in the department’s budget to fund it.

The new office “will provide a framework that transcends historical limitations and promotes boundless possibilities for all individuals regardless of status,” the documents said.

“[W]e must continuously strive for a workforce that reflects our diverse nation and promotes an environment that values individual respect and dignity. This office will enhance the Department’s ability to conduct adequate monitoring and oversight of DE&I programs,” they added.

The new office, to be established by October 1, will have nine U.S. direct-hire full-time employees, including the chief officer, the documents said. The chief officer will have a rank equivalent to an assistant secretary and will report directly to the secretary.

The purpose of the new office will be to “serve as the focal point for the Department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts and will be responsible for proposing and coordinating the implementation of policies and programs that support DE&I at the Department.”

The documents said that in the past year, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives have “increased dramatically, along with requests for targeted DE&I resources by bureaus and missions.”

One of the new office’s functions will be to conduct the coordination and collection of analysis of personnel information “aggregated by gender, race, ethnicity, disability, rank, and placement to support long-term planning,” according to the documents

The documents said the State Department’s soon-to-be-released 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan would provide a blueprint for a two-year strategy with metrics and milestones to track the “shift of the Department’s culture towards increased inclusivity for all employees.”

Breitbart News reached out to the State Department for comment but did not receive one before publication. After publish, a spokesman sent a statement:

As the Secretary has said, ‘Diversity makes any organization stronger – and for the State Department, it’s mission-critical.  We are representing the United States, and we need a workforce that reflects the diverse country we are.’ During his confirmation hearing, he committed to appointing a Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO), empowered with authority and resources.

The CDEIO will help bring the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work already underway at the State Department to the next level, aligning and advancing policies across the Department, bringing transparency to these initiatives, and holding senior leadership accountable on progress.

The establishment of the office follows similar efforts at the Pentagon. In February, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin appointed Bishop Garrison as his senior adviser for “human capital, diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The Biden Administration’s efforts on diversity and inclusion hit an embarrassing snag last week, after U.S. Special Operations Command announced it had hired its first chief of diversity and inclusion, Richard Torres-Estrada.

Immediately after his hire was announced, Torres-Estrada’s highly-partisan and misleading social media posts surfaced, and days later he was put under investigation and re-assigned from the job pending the investigation’s results.

Torres-Estrada had posted a meme comparing former President Donald Trump to a doctored photo of Adolf Hitler. Facebook labeled his post “Partly False.” He had also posted a meme in February criticizing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), calling his facial hair “weird.”

The Pentagon said Monday that Austin was aware of the investigation and supported SOCOM’s decision to look into the matter.

 

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