NASA announced last week that “two diversity champions” were hired to help advance diversity, equity and accessibility initiatives for the agency “for the benefit all humanity.”
NASA has named Steve Shih, the agency’s first diversity ambassador, and Elaine Ho, the associate administrator of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (NASA’s Washington headquarters) according to a press release.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated that NASA was leading the world on an unprecedented journey to discovery, exploration, and innovation.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and diversity must all be considered in order to achieve our mission success. Elaine and Steve’s leadership will allow NASA to continue to ensure that our workforce is representative of America, and to inspire partners throughout the nation – to the benefit of all mankind,” he said.
Shih will be responsible “building key strategic alliances” with external partners, including other government agencies and the private sector. This will enable the agency to be a leader in DEI initiatives and a “model”. Shih will also “learn” and promote best practices to NASA in order to recruit, hire and engage the most talented individuals of all backgrounds and life experiences.
NASA released that Ho was previously the deputy administrator for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, and the chief diversity officer for both the Department of Agriculture (and the Internal Revenue Service). Ho was also a senior policy advisor for Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative.
According to the agency’s website, the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity of the agency is responsible for providing training and assistance with recruitment.
NASA’s DEIA policy statement states that NASA is fully committed to creating a culture where employees feel authentic, welcome, respected, included and engaged. It also maintains an environment in which employees consistently and systematically receive fair and just treatment.
Agency considers DEIA programs to be a strategic enabler for our safety and mission security.
The agency recently posted a tweet about Women’s History Month to defend its position on diversity initiatives.
“The diversity of NASA’s team is what gives different perspectives to our missions. We celebrate their stories and celebrate them. We have taken the decision to restrict comments on these posts in order to protect our people against personal attacks,” stated NASA Universe.
Fox News Digital reported that NASA didn’t respond to a request for comments.