U.S. Ambassadors

Report

The U.S. Department of State does not advance and protect U.S. national interests to its full potential without a diverse, equitable, and inclusive ambassador corps. Additionally, the State Department has legal and moral imperatives to substantively address the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion within its ranks. This report will specifically focus on policy recommendations for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within the U.S. Department of State’s ambassador corps.

Of note, diversity, equity, and inclusion are interrelated but distinct priorities. For this report, diversity means that the ambassador corps is fully representative of the U.S. population; equity and inclusion mean that the Department fairly considers and appoints a diverse ambassador corps across regions, bureaus, and posts of varying geopolitical significance. Diversity, equity, and inclusion ensure that everyone has a seat and an equitable say at the table.

This report was produced by Abigail Horgan and Nicholas Sung for their master’s degree requirements at the Harvard Kennedy School in collaboration with Inclusive America. The key findings and policy recommendations are intended to support Inclusive America in its mission to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the U.S. government.

hall of flags at state department

Note: This report reflects the views of the authors and should not be viewed as representing Inclusive America nor Harvard University. Additionally, as this report is a compilation of background research and interviews, the authors acknowledge that there were dissenting views among interviewees about certain policy reforms.

REPORT

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the U.S. Ambassador Corps

Ambassador Map

Ambassador Diversity Tracker

African AffairsEast Asia/ PacificEurope/ EurasiaNear Eastern AffairsSouth/ Central AsiaWestern HemisphereInternational OrganizationAt LargeTotalUS Census
328,239,523
Thus Far Filled33154191014156143
Gender
Female / %12 (36.4%)5 (33.3%)16 (39.0%)1 (11.1%)1 (10.0%)8 (57.1%)7 (46.7%)3 (50.0%) 53 (37.06%) 166,745,678 (50.8%)
Male # / %22 (66.7%)9 (60.0%)23 (56.1%)6 (66.7%)9 (90.0%)8 (57.1%)8 (53.3%)3 (50.0%) 88 (61.5%) 159,524,408 (48.6%)
Transgender # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 1,969,437 (0.6%)
Race/Ethnicity
BIPOC # / %7 (21.2%)1 (6.7%)3 (7.3%)1 (11.1%)3 (30.0%)6 (42.9%)4 (26.7%)3 (50.0%) 28 (19.6%) 128,998,133 (39.3%)
White # / %26 (78.8%)13 (86.7%)36 (87.8%)5 (55.6%)5 (50.0%)9 (64.3%)11 (73.3%)3 (50.0%) 108 (75.5%) 197,271,953 (60.1%)
Latinx/Hispanic # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)1 (2.4%)0 (0.0%)1 (10.0%)3 (21.4%)1 (7.1%)0 (0.0%) 6 (4.2%) 60,724,312 (18.5%)
Black/African American # / %5 (15.2%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)1 (11.1%)0 (0.0%)2 (14.3%)2 (13.3%)1 (10.0%) 11 (7.7%) 43,984,096 (13.4%)
Asian American & Pacific Islander # / %2 (6.1%)1 (6.7%)2 (4.9%)0 (0.0%)2 (20.0%)1 (7.1%)1 (6.7%)2 (20.0%) 11 (7.7%) 20,022,611 (6.1%)
Native American / American Indian # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 4,267,114 (1.3%)
Middle Eastern / North African # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 9,981,332 (3.0%)
White # / %26 (78.8%)13 (86.7%)36 (87.8%)5 (55.6%)5 (50.0%)9 (64.3%)11 (73.3%)3 (30.0%) 108 (75.5%) 197,271,953 (60.1%)
BIPOC Female # / %3 (9.1%)0 (0.0%)2 (4.9%)0 (0.0%)1 (10.0%)4 (28.6%)1 (6.7%)1 (16.7%) 12 (8.4%) 65,531,052 (20.0%)
Latinx/Hispanic Females # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)1 (2.4%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)2 (14.3%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 3 (2.1%) 36,495,311 (11.1%)
Black/African American Females # / %2 (6.1%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)1 (7.1%)1 (6.7%)0 (0.0%) 4 (2.8%) 26,434,442 (8.1%)
Asian American & Pacific Islander Females # / %1 (3.0%)0 (0.0%)1 (2.4%)0 (0.0%)1 (10.0%)1 (7.1%)0 (0.0%)1 (16.7%) 5 (3.5%) 12,033,589 (3.7%)
Native American / American Indian Females # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 2,564,536 (0.8%)
Middle Eastern / North African Females # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 5,998,781 (1.8%)
White Females # / %9 (27.3%)5 (33.3%)14 (34.1%)1 (11.1%)0 (0.0%)4 (28.6%)6 (40.0%)2 (33.3%) 41 (28.7%) 118,560,444 (36.1%)
Veteran # / %1 (3.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 1 (0.7%) 18,611,432 (5.67%)
LGBTQ status # / %4 (12.1%)1 (6.7%)4 (9.8%)1 (11.1%)2 (20.0%)1 (7.1%)1 (6.7%)1 (16.7%) 15 (10.5%) 14,770,778 (4.5%)
Political appointee #6623321010161
Political Appointee %14.6%14.6%56.1%7.3%4.9%24.4%24.4%2.4%42.7%
Age # (working to complete) / %
Under 18 # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0.0% (0.0%) 73,197,414 (22.3%)
18-44 # / %0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 0.0% (0.0%) 118,494,468 (36.1%)
45-64 # / %2 (6.1%)1 (6.7%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%) 2.1% (0.0%) 82,388,120 (25.1%)
Over 65 # / %1 (3.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)0 (0.0%)1 (6.7%)0 (0.0%) 1.4% (0.0%) 54,159,521 (16.5%)
DisabilityForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcoming
ReligionForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcomingForthcoming