National Intelligence director speaks on diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility efforts

Posted by Luke Fretwell · October 28, 2021

In an opening statement to U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines shared the agency’s “work we have ahead of us to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.”

Haines:

“While we have exceptional leaders within the IC who are committed to promoting DEIA, many of whom have worked hard to achieve the progress we have made thus far on these issues over the last many years, we know we have a great deal of work ahead of us. These leaders know that it is not only essential to our mission and our values but to who we are as a nation. Promoting diversity – ensuring that we reflect the country we serve – is a responsibility we carry as public servants.”

“Moreover, it is fundamental to our national security. Ensuring that we have an IC workforce made up of people who think differently, see problems differently, and overcome challenges differently, is a prerequisite to our success. Their creativity makes us smarter, more innovative, and more successful. And that makes our nation safer and more secure against the array of adversaries and the foreign threats we face.”

Haines emphasized the agency can do better, outlined its work to date and “what we’re doing to change the situation.”

“In the IC we know how to work together to support the nation’s objectives. Congress created ODNI to do this, and we are bringing that approach to our efforts to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” said Haines. “This spirit is quintessentially American - to recognize our imperfections and decide we can be better – to see we have the power to make ourselves better – to work toward a brighter vision of what might be, what could be, and what will be. We are resolute in this purpose and I know we will be successful.”

Full statement. (.pdf)

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