Rep. Sewell Statement Supporting the White House Guidance to Promote Diversity in the Intelligence Community
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement in support of the White House initiative in promoting Diversity in the National Security community.
“As the only African American female Member of the House Intelligence Committee, increasing diversity in the intelligence community is quite personal to me. Our nation’s diversity is indisputably one of our greatest assets and is vital to our continued national security interests at home and abroad. I applaud President Obama’s White House initiative in providing critically important guidance and policies that can help promote and encourage diversity and inclusion in the national security workforce.
“I have been deeply committed to raising awareness to the need for diversity in the Intelligence Community workforce and I have worked to include provisions in the Intelligence Authorization Act that would actually create a pipeline of skilled and diverse talent into the Intelligence Community. Recently, I had the opportunity to host a panel discussion with leaders in the Intelligence Community to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting diversity and inclusion as a national security imperative. The White House guidance is an exciting step in the right direction towards developing a comprehensive plan that would provide guidance on data collection, professional development opportunities and greater accountability efforts to bridge the gap needed to achieve the diversity and inclusion goals.
“The reality is that minorities make up only about 35% of the total federal workforce while in the Intelligence Community—minorities total a mere 25%. The numbers are clear and demonstrate that there is still work to be done. These practical guidelines offered by the White House will make great strides toward ensuring that our national security workforce is reflective of the rich diversity that makes our nation strong. America’s workforce should look like America, and this includes the National Security Community.”