In a move that carries the same weight as an executive order, Obama issued a “presidential memorandum” Wednesday requiring national security agencies to recruit, hire and retain more qualified minority employees.
Claiming that data shows the defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies are all lagging behind in hiring minorities, Obama ordered the agencies to institute mandatory training on “unconscious bias” for management positions.
Obama has also ordered that every agency “implement a review process for decisions related to certain assignment or geographic restrictions.” For example, explains USA Today, intelligence officers are currently restricted on what posts they can serve in based on their security clearances – especially if they are married or live with a foreign national. Obama wants a review process so employees will be able to appeal those restrictions.
In the announcement of his new order on the White House website, Obama said, “In a complex and interconnected world, the nature of our national security challenges and opportunities is more global than ever.”
He said, “Promoting diversity and inclusion ensures that national security departments and agencies can recruit their employees from the broadest possible pool of talent and bring a wide range of perspectives, skills, and backgrounds to bear to tackle our toughest problems.”
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