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October 05, 2016

Government Must Promote Diversity in the Homeland Security Workforce

(WASHINGTON) – Today, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum that provides guidance to promote diversity and inclusion in the national security workforce. More than three million people makeup the workforce that is responsible for protecting the country and advancing our interests abroad, through diplomacy, development, defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security. 

This summer a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that while the percentage of minorities in the Intelligence Community increased from nearly 21% in FY 2011 to approximately 25% in FY 2015, the minority makeup of its workforce falls short in comparison to the rest of the federal workforce (35%) and the nation’s total population (37%). Additionally, only 12% of the Intelligence Community senior-level workforce are minorities.

“The Department of Homeland Security is working to become a leader in the Intelligence Community’s efforts to increase diversity within our national security workforce. Specifically, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis has entered into a recruiting agreement with higher education institutions that serve minority populations, created the Cyber Student Initiative to offer learning opportunities for college students, and issued recruitment and outreach plans to fill minority staffing gaps.”

“While the trend in minority representation is moving in a positive direction, more work needs to be done. Attrition and promotion of minorities are lagging and, in some instances, decreasing. The promotion of diversity and inclusion of various cultures, perspectives, and skills within our national security workforce is directly tied to our ability to protect our nation's interests at home and abroad.”

Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the National Security Workforce

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978