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On December 18, 2020, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will promote OBOs workplace diversity, improve employee engagement through diversity-focused initiatives, and diversify the architectural firms that partner with the bureau to advance the Department of States mission. The MOU solidifies and builds on the existing relationship between the two organizations and facilitates future OBO collaboration with the professional design community, particularly with minority-owned architecture firms.

The MOU outlines several opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations including advancing mutual design objectives, promoting diversity within OBOs contractor base, and establishing an OBO membership program in NOMA. This collaboration will help OBO become a more diverse and inclusive organization, thus contributing to its overall operations.

The MOU was signed by OBO Director Addison D. Tad Davis, IV and NOMA President Kimberly Dowdell on behalf of their respective organizations.

OBO provides safe, secure, functional, and resilient facilities that represent the U.S. Government to the host nation and support American diplomats in advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives abroad.

For further information, please contact Christine Foushee at or visit

U.S. Department of State

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