Advancing Equity at the Department of the Interior


An All-of-Government Approach –

The Biden-Harris administration is mobilizing an all-of-government approach to advance equity and justice across the federal government.  

On Day One of his term, President Biden signed the “Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” The Order established that the federal government would pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.  

Since then, the Department of the Interior has worked to implement an ambitious agenda to center justice, equity and inclusion in our work.

Interior Department’s Action Plan

n February of 2022, Secretary Deb Haaland established the first-ever Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Council to incorporate these practices into the Department’s work across its many bureaus. The establishment of this council was a proactive step toward embedding DEIA principles and actions into the mission of the Department and its bureaus. The DEIA Council established executive leadership across the Department to coordinate the development and implementation of specific policies, programs and initiatives. With representatives from senior leadership in every bureau, the Council works to ensure that decision-making processes include input from employees at all levels. 

The Department followed up on these efforts with the launch of its first Equity Action Plan, which outlined efforts to advance equity through all operations, remove barriers to equal opportunity, and deliver resources and benefits equitably to the general public.

The 2023 Equity Action Plan, released this month, focuses on five areas of high equity impact: Equitable Access to Public Programs, Trust in Law Enforcement, Equity in Contracting, Access to Public Lands, and Environmental Justice.