June 18, 2020

Castro Statement on First House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Diversity in Diplomacy Hearing

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, today released the following statement after his first subcommittee hearing on diversity on diplomacy:

“One of my top priorities as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is improving the diversity and inclusion of women and minorities in U.S. foreign policy. At this moment, people across the globe are protesting systemic racism. That’s also true of America’s diplomats. Foreign service officers and former U.S. Ambassadors, particularly Black diplomats, are speaking up about not being treated with equal respect. Diplomats who represent us should represent all of us. 

“We need real structural change in order to make progress on diversity and inclusion at the State Department. For the people who represent America to actually be representative of the American people, diversity needs to be a long-term priority backed by a commitment from the State Department leadership, the President, and the United States Congress.

“We’ve received many recommendations from the Ambassadors who testified on how to move forward, and I intend to turn those ideas into legislation. Yesterday’s hearing represents a step in the right direction, but there is still much to do. In that vein, I hope that the appropriate State Department officials will come to testify before the subcommittee on this topic this year. Leadership and a long-term commitment to change can make a real difference. I am committed to doing the work.”

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