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News Release

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Dorsey
Tel: 202-606-2402

President Obama Signs Executive Order to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce

Initiative designed to draw on the talents of all parts of our society

Washington, DC - Today, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order (EO) titled "Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce." It will promote the federal workplace as a model of equal employment opportunity, diversity, and inclusion. The EO will direct federal agencies to draw upon the talents of all parts of society and allow the federal government to tap diverse perspectives to overcome the nation's greatest challenges.

"As the Nation's largest employer, the federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example," said OPM Director John Berry. "We must recruit, hire, develop and retain a competitive, diverse workforce, because we'll deliver the best results to the American people when we fully use the talents of all parts of our society."

The EO requires the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) John Berry and Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Jeff Zients, in coordination with the President's Management Council (PMC) and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Jacqueline Berrien, to establish a government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce; develop a government-wide strategic plan and guidance for agency specific plans in this area to be issued within 90 days; identify appropriate practices to improve the effectiveness of agency efforts; and establish a system for reporting regularly on agency progress implementing their plans. The plans shall identify strategies to remove barriers to equal opportunity in the federal government's recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development, and training.

Within 120 days after the government-wide plan is released, each agency is required to issue its own agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. OPM's Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) will help departments and agencies develop a strategic focus on diversity and inclusion as well as provide support for these agency-wide efforts.

For more information, please see the following link:

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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