State Department creates new position to advocate for diplomatic diversity

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley speaking at lectern as Antony Blinken looks on (© Mandel Ngan/AP Images)
Former Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley speaks after Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced April 12 that she would become the State Department's first chief diversity and inclusion officer. (© Mandel Ngan/AP Images)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced April 12 that former Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley will be the U.S. Department of State’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer.

The State Department supports racial equity both abroad and at home, and has created the position to ensure a diverse and inclusive diplomatic corps.

“Diversity and inclusion make our diplomatic team stronger, smarter, more creative, more innovative,” said Blinken during the announcement. “As President Biden has made clear, prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is also a national security imperative.”

Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley, who has over 30 years of diplomatic experience, will advocate for underrepresented groups to be promoted in their roles and hold accountable those who fail to do so, including senior leadership. She will report directly to the secretary of state.

“I believe that we, the Department of State, should and can become in the field of inclusion a leader,” she said at the announcement. “Indeed, we have the talent to become the model for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce.”