U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday named Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley as the State Department’s first chief range officer, a position created to make the U.S. diplomatic corps extra consultant.
The appointment is a component of the Biden administration’s efforts to place range, fairness and racial justice on the high of the nationwide agenda after nationwide protests in opposition to police brutality and racial bias final year.
Introducing Abercrombie-Winstanley, Blinken mentioned the division and the nation had been at a “moment of reckoning” on racial equality, referring to the Black Lives Matter motion and assaults in opposition to Asian Americans.
Abercrombie-Winstanley, a career diplomat since 1985 who served as U.S. ambassador to Malta, will report on to Blinken, he mentioned.
Promoting range inclusion was the job of each division official, however the brand new officer would maintain division management accountable on that rating, Blinken mentioned.
The lack of range on the highest ranges of the division was alarming, he added, however may very well be traced by its historical past and seen within the portraits of former secretaries that line the hall to his office.
“It’s hard not to notice that almost every one of the secretaries along the hallway is a white man,” Blinken mentioned.
With 76,000 workers globally, racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented on the division, significantly in senior ranks, in keeping with an impartial federal watchdog report launched final year. Abercrombie-Winstanley is Black.
“The truth is this problem is as old as the department itself. It’s systemic,” Blinken mentioned. “It goes deeper than any one institution or any one administration, and it’s perpetuated by policies, practices and people to this day.”