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Congresswoman Karen Bass: Diversity in the U.S. Foreign Service


Global 360’s Anna Gawel and Eric Ham talk to Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the Represent America Abroad Act of 2021, the legislation she recently re-introduced to diversify the U.S. Foreign Service.

According to the American Academy of Diplomacy, out of 189 U.S. ambassadors serving abroad last year, only three were African American career diplomats, and just four were Hispanic.

And last year, a first-of-its-kind government report found that between fiscal 2002 and 2018, the proportion of racial or ethnic minorities working full time at the State Department only rose by 4% from an already low 28%.

Bass discusses her efforts to make America’s Foreign Service look more like the rest of America.

In addition, Bass — who also serves on House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism and was a recent chair of the Congressional Black Caucus — talks about her push for criminal justice reform, including her landmark George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and the global fight against police brutality.

And as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights, she tells us about her efforts to redefine America’s relationship with Africa.