On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed the now-infamous Executive Order 13985, titled “Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” The order committed the executive branch to an “ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.” In the first two years of Biden’s presidency, his administration has been minting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) bureaucrats seemingly faster than it does money.
An exhaustive list of all the federal government’s DEI administrators would be nearly impossible to compile given their vast numbers and efforts by executive agencies to conceal their DEI staff and initiatives through an unnavigable bureaucratic slog. But there are some notable standouts.
One such standout in the Biden administration is Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State. In her three-decade career as a diplomat, Abercrombie-Winstanley served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Malta, had postings in Baghdad, Jakarta, and Cairo, and was the first woman to lead a diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia. Once upon a time she also had a fellowship with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-ranking member Senator Joe Biden.
Abercrombie-Winstanley retired in 2017 as a senior foreign service officer. In the aftermath of the 2020 election, former colleagues and peers began jostling for open positions in the incoming administration. Initially, Abercrombie-Winstanley wasn’t all that interested in returning to the State Department. But when it became clear that the Biden administration, with the backdrop of George Floyd’s death and subsequent riots, would double down on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the highest ranks of government, some potential job opportunities caught Abercrombie-Winstanley’s attention. Namely, a new position in the State Department’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion (CDIO).
Abercrombie-Winstanley now works from an office on the top floor of the State Department building, just a few steps away from the secretary’s own office. The office Abercrombie-Winstanley now occupies was the office for President Donald Trump’s special envoy for North Korea, according to a piece published by Foreign Policy in October.
Foreign Policy’s glowing profile of Abercrombie-Winstanley also notes that the former ambassador-turned-DEI head has lined the office walls with soundproofing cork for any sensitive or heated conversations, either with lower level employees that claim to have experienced racism or sexual harassment or with State Department higher-ups who simply don’t understand that diversity is our strength.
To provide legitimacy to the Biden administration’s DEI push at the State Department, Foreign Policy cites an internal survey of around 8,600 State Department employees, which found that about 44 percent of respondents self-reported instances of discrimination, harassment, or bullying. Another data point Foreign Policy pointed to as justification for Abercrombie-Winstanley’s efforts is that black women comprised 13 percent of the State Department’s workforce in 2002, but had fallen to 9 percent in 2018. But this means that in both 2002 and 2018, black women were over-represented at State relative to their share of the population.
The diversity ruse gives bureaucrats like Abercrombie-Winstanley the power they have been looking for. “This is the only thing I would’ve come back for,” she told Foreign Policy of her current role. She calls herself “a sounding board for people,” but Abercrombie-Winstanley is more than just a sympathetic ear for disgruntled State Department employees. As Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Abercrombie has created a “precept” for the Foreign Service selection board that is used to assess promotions and tenures. Commitment to diversity is a core requirement for a diplomat’s eligibility for a promotion. “You are going to reward it, or you’re going to hold people accountable for not doing it,” Abercrombie-Winstanley told Foreign Policy of the new hiring practice.
Then there’s Kelisa Wing, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) DEI chief. Wing started as a DEI specialist for the DoDEA in October 2021, two months prior to the DoDEA making her promotion public in December. She now has power over some of the curriculum decisions at the DoDEA, which services 60,000 children at 160 schools around the world.
In 2021, Wing co-authored a number of children’s books as part of a “Racial Justice In America” series, with titles such as, What is Anti-Racism?, What is White Privilege?, What Does it Mean to Defund the Police?, What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?, and How Can I Be an Ally?
Wing has recently come under scrutiny. In September, posts on Wing’s Twitter account resurfaced from July of 2020: “I’m so exhausted at these white folx in these [professional development] sessions this lady actually had the CAUdacity [Caucasian audacity] to say black people can be racist too…. I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS…we are not the majority, we don’t have power,” Wing’s tweet read. In other tweets Wing used slurs or responded to users who invoked similar language to disparage white people.
The resurfaced tweets, first reported by Fox News, forced the Pentagon’s undersecretary of personnel and readiness, former California Democratic Congressman Gil Cisneros, to launch a 30-day review of Wing’s employment on September 19. While no information on the result of that review has been released, Wing has apparently kept her job without making any public apologies.
In public appearances during her employment review, Wing also promoted Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, in which Coates says that 9/11 first responders “were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were menaces of nature.”
Various DEI chiefs, officials, and underlings are scattered throughout the administrative state, but DEI positions have also been given a home in the White House.
In the White House Office of Personnel Management, for example, Janice Underwood has been chosen as the director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (ODEIA). Her primary mission in this role is to help the Biden administration implement and enforce the controversial Executive Order 14035, better known as the “Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce” Biden signed in June. To make good on the Executive Order’s promises, Underwood and her staff leads an interagency team to provide support in developing and executing their DEI initiatives. Underwood’s ODEIA was also tasked with creating a Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council (CDOEC) that oversees all the various DEI bureaucrats in the executive branch. The CDOEC officially launched in late September.
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Prior to her hiring in the Biden administration, Underwood was the first cabinet-level DEI officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia under former Governor Ralph Northam. In 2021, when she was Virginia’s chief diversity officer, Underwood posted a video on her official Twitter account titled “Honoring the Life of George Floyd” on the anniversary of Floyd’s death. George Floyd’s death, the video says, “sparked global protests and a call for police reform,” making no mention of the riots that resulted in the most expensive insurance damages in modern American history. Though George Floyd’s death occurred in Minneapolis, some 1,200 miles away from the Virginia state capital, the video boasted that Virginia has responded to Floyd’s death by “bann[ing] no-knock warrants,” “declar[ing] racism a public health crisis,” “creat[ing] the office of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and “codif[ying] the health equity task force,” among other things.
A tweet from the official account from June 2020, while the riots were still raging on, reads in part, “Black Lives Matter. Until this is true across all sectors of society, we will continue to fight to KNOW justice and KNOW peace!” Another tweet from April 5, 2021, claims that “racism and inequity have been embedded in virtually all aspects of our society since the founding of this country.”
Underwood’s belief that racism is “embedded in virtually all aspects of our society” is a central pillar of DEI ideology. People like Abercrombie-Winstanley, Wing, and Underwood are applying that ideology at the federal level. They ironically occupy the commanding heights of a nation they believe is rotten to its core.
Read More: Meet Biden’s Deep State DEI Enforcers