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Press Release

Thursday, April 20, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications

RELEASE: U.S. Office of Personnel Management Hosted a Virtual National Engagement for Federal and Non-Federal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Professionals

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently hosted a virtual national engagement titled “A Conversation with U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Leading the Way in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA).” The virtual event provided an opportunity for OPM's Office of DEIA to share significant updates, tips, and promising practices with federal and non-federal (public, private, education, non-profit) senior executives and DEIA thought-leaders across the nation. 

Speakers for the event include: 

  • Kiran Ahuja, Director, OPM  
  • Janice Underwood, Director of ODEIA, OPM 
  • Maria Lujan, Director of Public Engagement, OPM 

"Embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles are core components of making a difference and serving our communities,” said Kiran Ahuja, OPM Director. “These principles are critical to both recruiting and retaining talent and to helping the federal government better serve a diverse American public.” 

“The virtual event provides an opportunity to convene C-suite senior leaders, including DEIA professionals from public and private sectors to discuss the national strategy for DEIA and the promising practices that have emerged from White House Executive Order 14035,” said Dr. Janice Underwood, Government-wide Chief Diversity Officer. “When we learn from one another, together, we serve as force multipliers to leverage DEIA principles that improve organizational outcomes and workplace culture -- our goal is to build a better workforce in service to the American people.” 

Since EO 14035 was released, OPM and partnering agencies have worked on programs and initiatives to begin addressing the Government-wide DEIA Strategic Plan priorities. Programming highlights include the following: 

  • Established the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council, a stakeholder group that will inform and collaborate with member agencies and other public and private stakeholders on such matters as legislation and policies affecting federal DEIA priorities nationwide;  
  • Established a pilot program, “Level Up to Public Service” to increase awareness of and interest in public service careers and foster Federal career readiness with early career talent, specifically students from K-12 institutions and universities; 
  • Convened a national Employee Resource Group (ERG) Summit, designed to equip federal employees in ERGs to better support agency efforts to strategically advance DEIA and impact mission outcomes and a national DEIA Summit 2022: A Whole-of-Government Approach to Disability Employment to discuss promising practices and strategies to improve employment for people with disabilities in the federal workforce.  
  • On International Transgender Day of Visibility, OPM released Guidance Regarding Gender Identity and Inclusion in the Federal Workplace, an update to existing guidance originally released in 2015. The new guidance reflects several major changes in law and executive policy that have occurred since this guidance was first written in 2015 and updated in 2017, expands the guidance beyond workplace transition, and ensures the guidance language is inclusive of all gender identities; 
  • Promoted equitable healthcare coverage for LGBTQI+ employees, beneficiaries and eligible dependents, including taking steps to remove barriers to accessing gender-affirming health care through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program; 
  • Developed a new DEIA Index to measure how federal employees view their work environment; and
  • Established and maintain a DEIA Learning Community to support all federal agencies with implementing promising practices, and worked with agencies as they self-assessed the strengths and challenges related to DEIA practices within their own organizations.

This event was closed press. Media interested in learning more about the virtual engagement event can reach out to  

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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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