The Foreign Service Journal - March 2014 - page 21

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
MARCH 2014
21
has gone into the pull factor: the process
by which senior officials and officers
recruit, mentor and promote junior offi-
cers, giving them good opportunities and
encouraging them to stay at USAID.
During the 1990s, USAID began to
promote more women into the Senior
Foreign Service, which in turn changed
the agency’s culture and gradually
increased the numbers of women in
the Foreign Service. But the number of
Hispanics in the Senior Foreign Service
between 2009 and 2012 can literally be
counted on one hand: four out of 176.
OCRD identifies just two Hispanics out
of 33 in the Senior Executive Service.
And that is actually an improvement over
2009 and 2010.
This illustrates a more serious discon-
nect, between stated diversity goals
and the goals of the people who make
the actual selections—those at the top
of the agency. I really believe USAID’s
leadership is conceptually committed to
diversity. But it has many other priorities,
which crowd out diversity as a goal.
During the Cold War, fighting commu-
nism in Latin America was the agency’s
priority, and that led to a major upsurge
in Hispanic recruitment. Today, priorities
such as USAID Forward, Feed the Future
and Resilience draw executive attention
When hiring
large numbers
of Hispanics was
linked to a national
priority, as in the
1960s, USAID
made it happen.
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