The Malta Independent 18 May 2021, Tuesday

Former ambassador to Malta appointed USA’s first chief diversity officer

Tuesday, 13 April 2021, 10:34 Last update: about 2 months ago

Former United States ambassador to Malta Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley has been appointed as the USA’s first chief diversity officer by the State Department.

The appointment is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to put diversity, equity and racial justice at the top of the national agenda after nationwide protests against police brutality and racial bias last year.

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the department and the country were at a “moment of reckoning” on racial equality.

Abercrombie-Winstanley, a career diplomat since 1985 who served as U.S. ambassador to Malta between 2012 and 2016, will report directly to Blinken.

With 76,000 employees globally, racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented at the department, particularly in senior ranks, according to an independent federal watchdog report released last year.

“The truth is this problem is as old as the department itself. It’s systemic,” Blinken said. “It goes deeper than any one institution or any one administration, and it’s perpetuated by policies, practices and people to this day.”

A number of Maltese organisations and figures, chief amongst them President George Vella, sent their well-wishes to the former ambassador.

The President said that from his personal experience of working with her, he was sure that Abercrombie-Winstanley can deliver “with flying colours.”

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