October 27, 2015


Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37), and Congressman Charles B. Rangel (NY-13) introduced legislation to promote diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity within the U.S. Department of State's workforce. The Foreign Affairs Inclusion Reporting (FAIR) Act seeks to expand diversity in the Department of State through a combination of reporting on diversity recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion; an expansion of fellowship programs; and the promotion of career development programs for retention of mid- and senior-level professionals from underrepresented groups.

"A variety of views, backgrounds, and experiences contribute to more creative thinking and efficient problem solving, both of which play a crucial role in our nation's diplomatic efforts,"? said Rep. Castro. "By increasing diversity at the State Department, the FAIR Act aims to enhance America's potential for success in addressing the world's most pressing challenges."?

"We need to ensure that our nation's Foreign Service Officers and the State Department's Civil Service Employees reflect fully America's diversity," said Rep. Bass. "It is vitally important that qualified candidates of all backgrounds be afforded the opportunity to serve at all grades whether in the State Department's Civil Service or Foreign Service. The FAIR Act will work towards achieving this goal."

"I am very pleased to join Reps. Castro and Bass in providing more support for minority students as outlined in the FAIR Act,"? said Rep. Rangel. "I am proud of the contributions made by nearly 200 Rangel Fellows who have represented the best of America and allowed the world to see the beautiful mosaic of cultures and backgrounds that comprise our nation. By expanding the opportunity for talented individuals of color to study U.S. Foreign Policy and prepare for work in our Foreign Service, we are able to better promote a positive U.S. presence in the world that reflects and respects the strength and diversity of America."

Specifically, the FAIR Act:

  • Requires the State Department to issue a report every four years describing efforts to increase diversity regarding race, ethnicity, age, gender, and service-disabled veterans, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented minority groups
  • Expands by ten the number of fellows selected by the Rangel International Affairs Program and the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program 
  • Directs the State Department to provide attention and oversight to the employment, retention, and promotion of underrepresented groups to promote a diverse ethnic representation among mid- and senior-level career employees