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RELEASE: A Better, More Diverse Senior Executive Service in 2050

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277

Read the report here.

Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress released “A Better, More Diverse Senior Executive Service in 2050,” a report that finds that the projected ethnic, racial, and gender makeup of the Senior Executive Service—the federal government’s most senior career public official in the civil service—will not reflect that of the American workforce in 2030 and beyond.

Among the findings include:

  • Hispanic Americans will be vastly underrepresented in the Senior Executive Service. The report projects the service will be 6.8 percent Hispanic in 2030—less than a third of the likely representation of Hispanics in the civilian labor force.
  • Whites will remain significantly overrepresented. Seventy-one percent of the Senior Executive Service is projected to be white in 2030 compared with 57 percent of the adult workforce.
  • Women will remain underrepresented in the career Senior Executive Service. They will occupy 41 percent of posts in 2030 compared with 47 percent of the projected adult workforce.
  • The percentages of African American members of the Senior Executive Service (14.8 percent) will likely reflect their share of the civilian labor force.

The findings strongly suggest that there is an urgent need to address the diversity gap in the Senior Executive Service—with a special focus on Hispanics. As the Obama administration moves forward on its recently issued executive order promising a governmentwide strategy and agency-level plans to promote diversity and inclusion by mid-November, the authors of the report call on the administration to take a number of steps to close the diversity gap, including:

  • Set an objective to close the diversity gap for the Senior Executive Service by 2030
  • Set out interim milestones on the progress that should be made across executive branch agencies every four years
  • Embark on a special initiative to increase the representation of Hispanics in the Senior Executive Service
  • Establish a new diversity subcommittee of the President’s Management Council
  • Conduct a study within one year that better identifies the reasons for the diversity gap in the Senior Executive Service

“The Center for American Progress rightly concludes that the government’s effectiveness has been compromised by the lack of diversity in its workforce,” said Lillian Rodríguez López, chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. “Following the President’s recent executive order on agency diversity, we urge the administration to adopt CAP’s recommendations to improve recruitment, set aggressive benchmarks, and close the diversity gap, particularly among Latinos, by 2030.”

Improving diversity will lead to a more representative senior civil service and a better government. In short, the federal government must reaffirm its leadership in ensuring fair hiring and expanding opportunities for people of color and women.

Read the report here.

To speak to CAP experts about this topic, please contact Raúl Arce-Contreras at or 202.478.5318.


To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

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