AmeriCorps Names First Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Former Department of Education Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer Joins AmeriCorps
WASHINGTON, D.C.– AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, has selected Nathaniel H. Benjamin as chief diversity and inclusion officer. In alignment with the agency's Equity Action Plan, Benjamin will help AmeriCorps evaluate and address barriers to advance racial equity and support underserved communities.
Benjamin is AmeriCorps' first chief diversity & inclusion officer. He joins AmeriCorps from the Department of Education, where he was deputy chief human capital officer and worked as a change strategist and executive leader for the agency's operational functions. Benjamin was also the managing executive for the department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion program and led the agency’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Benjamin previously was appointed human capital director and deputy chief human capital officer at the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, during the Obama-Biden Administration. He directed the agency's human capital strategy, workforce development and employee engagement initiatives, and directed the diversity and inclusion plan. Benjamin was also the deputy human resources officer for the T Family Bureaus at the U.S. Department of State. He led the civil service staff for three bureaus supporting its arms control and international security missions.
Over a 22-year career, Benjamin has served as a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, a civil servant for the Department of Defense, and an adjunct instructor for several institutions of higher learning. Benjamin is a certified professional coach and executively trained in strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion management through Georgetown University.
"Nate is a life-long public servant with a wealth of experience from military service to diversity initiatives under two administrations," said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. "As a part of President Biden's equity plan, AmeriCorps remains focused on eliminating racial inequity and promoting equal treatment to all within the AmeriCorps family. I am confident that Nate’s expertise will help AmeriCorps strengthen equity in national service to make a lasting impact for years to come."
"I am honored to join AmeriCorps' diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility team as the first chief diversity and inclusion officer," said Nathaniel Benjamin, AmeriCorps CDIO. "I will use my experience to address barriers to service and inequalities in communities, particularly underserved communities, across the nation. I look forward to working with AmeriCorps and the greater national service community to further equity for all staff, members, volunteers, partners and communities alike."
Benjamin will lead AmeriCorps' DEIA team and equity initiatives in line with President Biden's 2021 Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The order called for a comprehensive approach to transform the federal government into a fairer and more equitable entity. It directed agencies to establish the critical role and responsibility of equity teams to address barriers and advance opportunities for both agency staff and services. As a result, AmeriCorps expanded its Equity Action Plan, which focuses on five key areas:
Advance civil rights
Recruit and retain a diverse corps
Partner with American Indian and Alaskan Native communities
Address limited English proficiency and ensure language access
Increase equity in procurement processes
AmeriCorps has a decades-long commitment to addressing barriers to national service and is guided by its strategic plan, which establishes equity at its foundation. Learn more about AmeriCorps' strategic plan and equity focus.