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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
61
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is that the lack of diversity at the senior levels translates into fewer
mentors who can advise and support those trying to join their
ranks.
So what can be done to fulfill our commitment to amore di-
verse Service? How do we create an institution that goes beyond
a compliance focus on“diversity by numbers,”and celebrates the
benefits of a diverse work force?
Incorporation of diversity precepts into
work requirements statements and promotion
panel decisions offers incentives for individuals
to ensure that their actions enhance diversity.
Institutional support for affinity groups based
on gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation en-
sures that all-important mentoring networks
flourish and, in turn, help to recruit and de-
velop the next generation of diverse leadership.
Presidential appointments at the ambassador or assistant sec-
retary level address the temporal under-representation that is
found in our meritocratic system, as the results of other efforts
begin to take hold. However, throughout this process, we must
remember that our conversation on diversity must be inclusive
so that all employees — regardless of minority or majority sta-
tus — feel comfortable participating in it.
America requires a more diverse Foreign Service in order to
engage with a more diverse world. Our challenge, as colleagues
and stakeholders at the Department of State, is to live“diversity”
in our everyday lives. Wemust promote diversity-friendly work-
places, where no one would question the ap-
pointment of a non-minority person as
director of civil rights, and where
State
maga-
zine’smonthly“DiversityNotes”column is read
by all employees —not just by some.
Matthew Asada is a fourth-generation Japanese-Amer-
ican and third-generation public servant originally from
Michigan. He is a member of the 2011-2013 AFSA Gov-
erning Board and a political officer currently serving as
a 2011-2012 American Political Science Association congressional fellow.
The genesis of this article was the author’s participation in a panel dis-
cussion on “Diversity in Politics and Governance,” held at the University of
Pennsylvania on Oct. 2, 2010, as part of that university’s inaugural alumni
diversity celebration weekend.
Diversity • Continued from page 51
America requires a more
diverse Foreign Service in
order to engage with a
more diverse world.
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