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Press Release

Thursday, September 29, 2022
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-734-8680

RELEASE: OPM Launches Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council to Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Across Federal Agencies

Government-wide Council Will Work to Build and Model a Federal Workforce that Draws from the Diversity of America

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council (CDOEC) kicked off its inaugural interagency meeting to help implement and sustain a national strategy for DEIA across the Federal government. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) convened the CDOEC to seek to ensure that the federal government is our country’s model of excellence for DEIA by strengthening the government’s ability to recruit, hire, develop, promote, and retain our nation’s talent.

“The inaugural meeting of the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council marks a major milestone in this Administration’s work to build and model a federal workforce that draws from the full diversity of the American people,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said. “A diverse workforce that holds different experiences and perspectives makes us stronger and more equipped to resolve any issues our communities face. We know government works best when qualified people from every background and walk of life have an equal opportunity to serve our nation.”

Chaired by OPM’s Director, Kiran Ahuja, the CDOEC’s leadership team includes two Vice Chairs-- Deputy Director for Management Jason Miller, OMB and Chair Charlotte Burrows, EEOC. The Council will be staffed by Dr. Janice Underwood, Director of OPM’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility. In this capacity she will serve as the government-wide Chief Diversity Officer. The rest of the CDEOC is comprised of CDO’s from the Chief Financial Officers Act agencies and other relevant stakeholders from the Executive Office of the President.  The CDOEC will advise agencies and their senior leaders on promising practices in DEIA and promote those practices as important to agency strategic plans, missions, and operations.

“By creating a forum for collaboration, the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council is a force-multiplier for the important DEIA work taking place across the federal government,” Dr. Janice Underwood said. “This historic Council will be a nexus of the most promising policies and practices from the public and private sectors alike. As a council, the Chief Diversity Officers will collaborate on an approach to advancing DEIA work across the federal government and our society.”

The Council will, among many roles:

  • Collaborate on broad strategic and operational matters, as well as projects and programs across the Federal government related to DEIA;
  • Collaborate with member agencies and public and private stakeholders, as appropriate, on DEIA policies and programs in the Federal government and across other employment sectors;
  • Assist with setting clear strategies, benchmarks, and metrics for DEIA standards of excellence and accountability to be employed across the Federal government;
  • Support and advise member agencies on their DEIA strategic plans;
  • While maintaining fidelity to and strengthening practices that support the Merit System Principles, the Council will promote the DEIA priorities outlined in Executive Order 14035 and incorporate operating principles of accountability and sustainability; use of data and evidence-based decision-making; continuous improvement and learning; and broad engagement with diverse stakeholders and partners.

In alignment with Executive Order 14035, the CDOEC will provide support to the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing work to further the business case and national security imperative of DEIA.


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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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