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At the Department of State, diversity is not just a worthy cause: it is a business necessity. Diversity of experience and background helps Department employees in the work of diplomacy. The Secretary believes that diversity is extremely important in making the State Department an employer of choice. The Secretary has delegated both tasks of advancing diversity within the Department and ensuring equal opportunity to all employees to the Director of the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR), who also serves as the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).

The mission of the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR) is to propagate fairness, equity and inclusion at the Department of State. S/OCR’s business is conflict resolution, employee and supervisor assistance, and diversity management. S/OCR manages the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) administrative process for the Department and works to prevent employment discrimination through outreach and training.

S/OCR advises and assists the Secretary and other principal officers in equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy and diversity management issues that relate to the Department of State. The office is symbiotically separated into three sections: Diversity Management and Outreach, Intake and Resolution, and Legal.

The Diversity Management and Outreach section helps the Department foster a work environment free of discrimination by maintaining an affirmative outreach program. It performs this task by preparing workforce diversity reports, managing special emphasis programs, delivering EEO and diversity briefings, conducting workforce analysis to eradicate barriers to equal employment opportunity for individuals and groups, organizing commemorative events to recognize the contributions of a diverse array of individuals and groups, and more.

The Intake and Resolution section I&R processes complaints of discrimination from U.S. citizen employees and applicants for employment at the Department of State. I&R also manages the Department’s Global EEO Counselor Program and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.

The Legal section seeks to advance the mission of S/OCR by providing assistance with legal compliance as it relates to the administrative processing of EEO complaints and other EEO issues. The Department’s Anti-Harassment Program is managed by the S/OCR legal staff. The Senior Attorney-Adviser, in coordination with her staff, conducts inquiries into allegations of sexual and discriminatory harassment in the Department’s workplace per 3 FAM 1525 and 1526.

If you are a Department of State employee or applicant and you believe you are the victim of discrimination and/or harassment based on your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity & gender stereotyping), national origin, age (40 or older), disability (physical or mental), genetic information, sexual orientation and/or retaliation (for opposing discrimination or prior protected EEO activity), please be advised of the following:

To initiate the EEO complaint process, regulations require that you contact S/OCR or an EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act in order to preserve your right to file a formal complaint of discrimination with S/OCR.

For more information about EEO and diversity, please contact us at:

U.S. Department of State
Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR)
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: (202) 647-9295 or (202) 647-9294
Fax: (202) 647-4969

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future