Today, the White House released the U.S. Department of State’s Equity Action Plan to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued E.O. 13985 directing the federal government to take comprehensive action in policymaking and operations to address racial equity and barriers to opportunity for underserved communities. E.O. 13985 also mandated every federal agency develop an Equity Action Plan outlining its implementation efforts. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian P. McKeon has led the enterprise-wide implementation of E.O. 13985 for the U.S. Department of State.
The U.S. Department of State’s Equity Action Plan targets five priority areas for embedding equity into foreign affairs work: (1) foreign policy development and implementation, (2) foreign assistance, (3) public diplomacy, (4) consular services, and (5) procurement, contracts, and grants. The Equity Action Plan outlines specific actions, metrics, and accountability efforts to successfully integrate E.O. 13985 into the U.S. Department of State’s foreign affairs mission.