WASHINGTON – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today released the following statement praising the inclusion and approval of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) funding priorities in the omnibus bill for U.S. international affairs programs and efforts to combat racism worldwide.
Drawing from Chairman Menendez’s State Department Authorization Act and his May letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, the omnibus spending legislation approved by the Senate today includes funding exceeding President Biden’s FY23 budget request for DEIA initiatives, including provisions for chief diversity offices at the State Department and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as funding for fellowships and recruiting at Minority Serving Institutions.
“I am immensely proud to see the inclusion of provisions I championed in the omnibus to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout the ranks of our development and diplomatic corps,” Chairman Menendez said. “The rich diversity of the American people is one of our nation’s greatest assets and sources of strength. The omnibus approved today will ensure that we can harness and benefit from it, as we must match our aspirations to cultivate a representative workforce with an equal commitment to appropriately fund them.”
Additional DEIA provisions include:
- DEIA efforts at the State Department: includes $7.2 million for the Office of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, $2 million for the Department’s Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit, and $6 million each for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program and Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, as well as funding for the mid-career International Career Advancement Program.
- Paid Internships: provides $18 million for paid internships at the Department of State as authorized in the Department of State Authorization Act of 2022. Paid internships are expected to increase diversity by allowing persons who cannot self-finance housing and other expenses to intern.
- Recruitment for Minority Serving Institutions: includes $4 million for initiatives to raise and expand awareness of Fulbright opportunities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) among students and faculties.
- DEIA initiatives at USAID: includes $20 million to support DEIA initiatives at USAID, including implementing the goals of USAID’s new strategy on diversity, equity, and inclusion and supporting the Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program. The bill also requires a report on the implementation of USAID’s workforce diversity activities, including benchmarks for ensuring accountability and progress and quarterly reports on agency staffing and attrition.
- Demographic Data on Federal Advisory Committees: requests reports on the demographic composition of Federal Advisory Committees, Boards and Commissions for the State Department and USAID.
- Countering Global Racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: provides $2 million for the State Department western hemisphere’s Race, Ethnicity and Social Inclusion Unit; $1 million to address racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in Europe; funding for an institute to increase diversity in transatlantic relations, and reporting requirements on State Department and USAID efforts addressing global racism.
- Minority-Owned Businesses and International Affairs Agencies: includes language supporting DEIA initiatives across international affairs agencies from demographic workforce data collection and U.S. minority-business partnerships with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and, and U.S. Export-Import Bank.