Is national security workforce diversity really an issue when the president’s national security adviser is a powerful black woman with a spacious White House office just down the hallway from her boss, a black man who embodies diversity?
Yes. It’s a big, persistent problem.
The encouraging news is Susan E. Rice has confronted the issue head-on, with solid support from her boss, President Obama. She was the driving force behind his October presidential memorandum that instructed agencies to take a series of actions “promoting diversity and inclusion in the national security workforce.”
Yet, despite those efforts, and others going back at least to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 that said “the Foreign Service should be representative of the American people,” the national security workforce remains starkly under-representative of the country it serves, particularly at the higher levels.
This reality makes the fate of the Obama administration’s diversity efforts all the more concerning. What will become of them when this administration ends next week and that of President-elect Donald Trump begins? (Washington Post)