CIA minority recruitment has gone down since President Barack Obama took office, according to a minority study of the habits of the federal agency. The Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly reduced the hiring and promotion of minorities in top positions. Director John Brennan said a lack of ethnic diversity at the agency is harming intelligence gathering.
John Brennan also stated that he was “deeply concerned” by the findings of the CIA minority study. According to the special report. The makeup of the CIA does not “reflect America.” A total of just 10.8 percent of the senior staff at the Central Intelligence Agency are minorities. A total of 24 percent of staffers employed by the agency as various levels stem from minority backgrounds. Since 2008, the recruitment of minority applicants reportedly dropped from 31 to 19 percent.
The CIA minority study also revealed that an increase in the number of black staffers in the Senior Intelligence Service, which began in 2004, has also been on the decline. The vast majority of top level CIA officers are reportedly white males.
“Agency leaders, managers and supervisors do not prioritize diversity in leadership,” the study said. “The agency does not recognize the value of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, nor consistently promote an inclusive, ‘speak-up’ culture where all opinions are heard, valued, and taken into account.”
CIA Director Brennan also stated that the lack of minority hires is causing the agency to suffer, and that there is a “business case” for addressing and correcting the trend.
“Achieving that outcome is not only a matter of fairness and integrity, but one that is absolutely critical to CIA’s success. Given our global mission, no government agency stands to benefit more from diversity and inclusion than the CIA,” Brennan noted in a statement released to the media. “I’m determined to see those numbers improve.”
“The record clearly suggests that the senior leadership of the agency is not committed to diversity,” CIA minority report leader Vernon Jordan said. Jordan is regarded as a prominent African-American attorney.
John Brennan commissioned the Diversity in Leadership Study last January. The team of researchers included former senior CIA officials and retired Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CIA minority study also reportedly included data garnered from 28 focus groups and via 200 interviews with senior staffers. A survey was given to CIA staffers as a part of the special report information gathering process.
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