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Addressing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEI&B) Federal Agencies

Executive Order 13985 activity is occurring everywhere, who’s leading the way?

Among his first acts as President of the United States of America, on January 20, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” Lots of activity in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) arena resulted and continues as agencies grapple with compliance.


As Federal departments and agencies digest and begin responding to Executive Order (EO) 13985, a number of actions began but how do agencies “really” make an impact for the better while ensuring their compliance? What is the real problem we are seeking to address?

The term, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) is quickly becoming the new flavor of the month and being interpreted almost everywhere. We offer the following simple definition:

  • Its not a Human Resources program although HR plays a significant role;
  • Its not an Equal Employment Opportunity/ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) program though OCR also plays a vital role
  • Its about EVERY division, team, group, evaluating what they do, how they do it critically to answer 1 question—“Do we in any way excluded anyone based on how we do things?”


1. Where do we start—Convene ALL stakeholders (e.g., HR, OCR, Mission Delivery teams, etc.). Discuss current state.

2. What do we do—EO 13985 states what is expected, though not necessarily how to provide it—get ready for data calls and ensure you can report when asked to do so;

3. How do we do it—The most efficient approach is to formulate a single program, at the highest level possible, to galvanize efforts, save on costs, help shape things now. A singular focus is needed not other duties as assigned;

4. Where do we go from here—Treat this like a new program, establish a charter, obtain leadership buy-in, develop a game plan—most importantly, identify a single person to run the program and give it resources.

Call us to learn more or to discuss your response and readiness for EO 13985 and your DE&I Strategy.

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