February 24, 2021

Congressman Castro Commends Secretary Blinken for Creation of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at State Department, Urges Congress to Make the Position Permanent

WASHINGTON — Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of its Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact, released the following statement on Secretary Blinken’s announcement creating a new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) position at the U.S Department of State: 

“I commend Secretary Blinken for taking early and necessary action with the creation of a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer to address the stark lack of diversity at the U.S. Department of State. America’s diplomats who represent the face of our nation to the world must reflect the diversity of the American people. For generations and across administrations, the State Department has struggled to retain and promote diplomats of color to senior level positions and failed to hold top officials accountable, and I’m optimistic that this new leadership will break down the structural barriers to greater diversity in our diplomatic corps.”

“However, this announcement is only the first step in a long road ahead. Congress needs to take immediate legislative action and make this position permanent. By passing my legislation, the Diversity and Inclusion at the Department of State Act, Congress can and must codify the CDIO position into law, as we did for the Department of Defense earlier this year.”

 “I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and my colleagues in Congress to ensure the CDIO at State has the authorities and resources needed to bring about accountability and improve diversity in diplomacy.”