Commitment to the Diversity of the Future State Department Workforce.

Author:Glazeroff, Josh
Position:Commentary & Analysis

October 2017

On August 18, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke to this year's participants in the Department's internship and fellowship programs (see https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/08/273527.htm for full text). His remarks acknowledged a diversity gap at the Department and the need to increase diversity at the highest ranks. He also committed the Department to working harder to find diverse candidates from across the country, and reexamining both where we recruit and how to build relationships with institutions throughout the United States.

The Foreign Service Act of 1980 mandates that the members of the Foreign Service be representative of the American people, and the Department of State seeks to recruit under-represented minorities for both Civil Service and Foreign Service careers. The Bureau of Human Resources Office of Recruitment, Examination and Employment (HR/REE) focuses on reaching qualified candidates on university campuses and in professional communities, with special attention paid to regions distant from Washington, D.C. The Department's recruitment and outreach strategy is coordinated nationally and seeks to identify and reach prospective candidates through four main methods: person-to-person contact, electronic marketing and use of social media, dedicated student internship and fellowship programs, and partnerships with organizations that identify outstanding students.

Direct Contact/Outreach

To establish personal contact with prospective candidates, sixteen Foreign Service Officers and Specialists assigned as Diplomats in Residence (DIRs) on university campuses throughout the United States, as well as ten Washington-based recruiters, visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). HBCUs hosting DIRs include institutions in Atlanta (Morehouse/Spelman), Tallahassee (Florida A&M), and Washington, DC (Howard University); HSIs host DIRs at the University of New Mexico, Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Department recruiters participate in career fairs, present on panels and host information sessions at the conferences of partners including the League of United Latin American Citizens, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Prospanica (formerly known as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA)), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Thurgood Marshall College Fund...

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