Diversity & Inclusion
At CSIS, we believe that harnessing the talents of diverse individuals is a critical component of maintaining CSIS’s position as an industry leader in national security and foreign policy. We strive to create an environment where people of all backgrounds are heard and included. This includes recruiting and supporting a diverse staff as well as engaging a broader community through our events, roundtables, working groups, and publications.
We value diversity across many facets, encompassing a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, and we recognize that we must be intentional in our work to achieve a diverse and inclusive environment. Effectively integrating diverse perspectives into our work will drive greater innovation and strengthen our core mission to advance practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.
A Letter From Our President and CEO
American society is a grand mosaic of individuals from a broad range of backgrounds. Diversity in the workplace—at every level—is a source of strength, as every corporation has learned. But our national security and foreign policy institutions have historically lagged in reflecting that diversity. We see the same in policy institutes. There is now a widely shared commitment to address this deficit, working to develop, recruit, hire, retain, and promote national security and foreign policy professionals from the rich tapestry of backgrounds that is unique to America.
CSIS is engaged in an organization-wide agenda to strengthen our capabilities through greater diversity and inclusion. Our staff has enthusiastically embraced these issues, which require personal reflection as well as organizational efforts to be more welcoming and inclusive of people of all different backgrounds and perspectives.
We conducted an in-depth evaluation of diversity and inclusion at CSIS, which included our first full-staff cultural assessment survey. The survey revealed some positive results. Ninety-five percent of our staff reported that they feel they can make a meaningful contribution to CSIS’s work, and 90 percent feel respected and valued by their manager. But the evaluation also revealed areas that need additional focus. Paralleling society in general, diversity in CSIS weakens as seniority increases. Discrimination casts a long shadow. This can be addressed only through active efforts to accelerate diversity and inclusion at every level in our organization.
Beyond simple statistics, we strive to create a community of support and encouragement within our ranks. We do this not as a superficial emblem to advertise to others. We do this because it creates a more productive, efficient, and constructive workplace. As said by Dr. Martin Luther King, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” This is also the key to strong organizations.
John J. Hamre
President and CEO
As part of our efforts to build a more diverse and inclusive organization, we informally track several other dimensions of diversity, including LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with visible and invisible disabilities. Our staff come from all regions of the country and world and have graduated from over 140 public and private colleges and universities. CSIS has gender and race pay parity.
Interns are an important part of the CSIS community and contribute meaningfully to our work. Our internship program is also a pipeline for our junior staff positions.
*Based on voluntary self-identification of the EEO1 Form. The federal government requires CSIS to determine this information by visual survey if staffers do not choose to self-identify.
- Hadeil Ali
- Director, Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project