Letter from the Archivist - Changes at NARA to Advance Equity

December 10, 2021

By David S. Ferriero
Archivist of the United States

As part of our commitment to advancing equity and integrating the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) into agency decision-making, the National Archives and Records Administration is making changes to its leadership and strategy.

New Leadership Positions

I have created two new positions: Chief Equity Officer and Chief Diversity Officer.

The Chief Equity Officer is a new position that will report directly to me and will be filled in the coming year. The Chief Equity Officer will lead continuous engagement with underserved communities to better understand their needs for NARA services; serve as an ombudsperson to receive suggestions and complaints from customers when our services do not meet our ideals for equity; and promote equity in management decision-making and regulatory processes. 

The Chief Diversity Officer is a new responsibility assigned to the Office of Human Capital. The Chief Diversity Officer is responsible for using a data-driven approach to assess and ensure that NARA employment practices are equitable, especially in the areas of recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development, performance evaluations, pay and compensation policies, and training policies and practices.

New Values and a Transformational Outcome

We are also embedding the principles of equity and DEIA in our Strategic Plan. We have made several changes to our draft 2022–2026 Strategic Plan since we shared our last draft with you in July 2021. In that draft, we had revised our vision statement to acknowledge the many different American experiences. Since then, the Management Team has added two new values and one new Transformational Outcome to reaffirm our commitment to equity and DEIA.

Act with Integrity: Build trust by acting with honesty, fairness, and transparency.
Advance Diversity: Model diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility throughout the agency and expand participation by staff and customers of all backgrounds in NARA programs and decision-making.

Transformational Outcome:
A Diverse and Inclusive NARA: We will embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility so that our workforce and our customers of all backgrounds are valued and supported.

These actions are an important step in our goal to embed equity in all of our decision-making processes, to signal our commitment to these principles as a strategic imperative, and to support two important Administration priorities: Executive Order 13985: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government and Executive Order 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce.  

I appreciate NARA’s senior leaders for their commitment to a diverse and equitable NARA and look forward to working with them to create a stronger future together.