NASA announced last week that it hired “two diversity champions” to advance the agency’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives “for the benefit of all humanity.”
According to a press release published on March 27, NASA named Steve Shih the agency’s first diversity ambassador and Elaine Ho the associate administrator for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA’s headquarters in Washington.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated, “Now, more than ever, NASA is leading all of humanity on an unprecedented journey of discovery, exploration and innovation.”
“To be successful in our missions, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility must continue to be at the forefront. Steve and Elaine’s leadership will help NASA continue to ensure our workforce reflects all of America and to inspire partners throughout our nation – for the benefit of all humanity,” he added.
Shih will be responsible for “building key strategic alliances with external partners,” including those within other government agencies, the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organization, which will allow the agency to be a “model” and “leader” for DEI initiatives. Additionally, Shih will “learn and promote best practices for NASA to recruit, hire, engage, and retain the most talented individuals from all backgrounds and life experiences.”
According to the NASA press release, Ho previously worked as the deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement and as the chief diversity officer for the Department of Agriculture and Internal Revenue Service. She also previously served as a senior policy adviser for former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative.
The agency’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is tasked with providing diversity and inclusion training, as well as assisting with recruiting, according to its website.
NASA’s DEIA policy statement declares that the agency is “fully committed” to “reinforcing a culture in which our employees feel they can be authentic, welcomed, respected, included, and engaged; maintaining an environment where our employees consistently and systematically receive fair, just, and impartial treatment; and ensuring our employees can fully and independently access facilities, information and communication technology, programs, and services.”
The agency considers its DEIA programs a “strategic enabler of our safety and mission assurance.”
In a recent Twitter post regarding Women’s History Month, the agency defended its stance on diversity initiatives.
“The diversity of our NASA team is what brings different perspectives to our missions, and we celebrate and share their stories. To protect our people from personal attacks, we have decided to limit comments on these posts,” wrote the agency’s NASA Universe account.
NASA did not respond to a request for comment, Fox News Digital reported.
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