A Conversation with Stacey Abrams

A Council on Foreign Relations’s discussion on “Diversity in International Affairs” with Stacey Abrams (May 10, 2019)

In a Council on Foreign Relations’ event entitled “Diversity in International Affairs,” Stacey Abrams answers Inclusive America’s Co-Founder Mark Hanis’s questions on her thoughts about appointing a Chief Diversity Officer to increase diversity and inclusion in politically-appointed positions. Abrams expresses her support and the need for an organized effort to take on this challenge.

Mark Hanis: …Many companies, when they deal with this problem [in diversity] , create a chief diversity…or a chief inclusion officer… [W]hat [are] your thoughts for candidates that are running for president for 2020 [in] including this as part of their platform?

Stacey Abrams: [I]t is true that we need that type of inclusion and diversity in almost every facet of our federal government…I think your point is the right one, which is that there is—there has to be a proven intentionality to do this. If we simply wait for people to decide they want inclusion, it does not happen…To recruit a sufficient number of communities that are disenfranchised, or marginalized, or outside of the norm—to recruit the levels that we need will take a long time… And that means that you are going to have to be very thoughtful and creative about where we go to find those folks. And you do want someone who is giving a lot of thought to this, because this is going to be a very intensive operation. 

Note: Inclusive America’s #PledgeForDiversity Campaign asks candidates to commit to supporting the appointment of a Chief Diversity Officer.

A full transcript of Abrams’ answer can be found here: A Conversation with Stacey Abrams.