OCR Recruitment Efforts at the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Conference

At the beginning of October, two members of the Office of Civil Rights, plus an FSO volunteer from the Western European Area Office, traveled to Chicago to spend three intensive days informing Conference attendees about employment opportunities at the United States Information Agency and the role public diplomacy plays in America's foreign affairs efforts. From a booth located next to one occupied by two State Department Foreign Service Officers, OCR distributed over two hundred information packets to interested persons, had substantive conversations about the nature of USIA work here and abroad with 75 of them, and had an excellent interchange with three university counselors, all of whom took materials and a much better sense of what a career in public diplomacy entails back to the students at their institutions.

Given the comparatively small number of Hispanic origin Foreign and Civil Service personnel currently employed at USIA, the Office of Civil Rights believes that, if the United States is to have a Foreign Service that "looks like America," efforts to interest more Hispanics in public diplomacy are critically important. According to Census Bureau projections, Hispanics will become the biggest single minority group in the U.S. within seven years. Today, Hispanics make up 31 percent of the population of California and 28 percent of the population of Texas; within 25 years they will be the largest population group in both of these states.

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