House Democrats in recent weeks have asked the Biden administration about its plans to improve diversity across the national security workforce.

In a Jan. 19 letter to Principle Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer, House Democrats – including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas – made requests for:

  1. An update on progress of a working group designated by President Biden’s memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships, along with the status of the quarterly reports submitted by the working group to the assistant to the president for national security affairs; and
  2. That existing quarterly reports and all future quarterly and annual reports be released publicly.

President Biden’s memo released Feb. 4, 2021, aims to “prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as a national security imperative, to ensure that perspectives and talents are represented in the national security workforce.”

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The resulting Interagency Working Group on the National Security Workforce is tasked with strengthening diversity and inclusion; developing proposals to retain, develop, promote, and support national security employees; and assessing implementation of security clearance reforms and reciprocity proposals to eliminate bias and ensure timeliness for completing security clearance investigations, among other tasks.

“In response to the public’s growing interest in the Biden Administration’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we would like to be able to inform our constituents about the steps being taken to address inequities in our Federal government, particularly within our national security workforce,” the House Democrats—who are members of the House Intelligence Committee – wrote.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.