Diversifying the Health Policy Workforce
October 31, 2007
Despite decades of diversity initiatives, senior staff members on the Capitol Hill and in the federal executive agencies do not reflect the ethnic, racial, and disability profile of the American population. Many believe this lack of diversity among key health policymakers markedly restricts the ability of the federal government to be responsive and effectively serve people of color and other individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, who, by virtue of poverty or significant medical need, are most in need of federal programs. This meeting convened individuals from Capitol Hill, the federal executive agencies, health policy groups, philanthropic foundations, and academic training centers to explore opportunities for partnering and pooling resources to diversify the health policy workforce. Participants examined where obstacles occur in the “pipeline” of public servants from diverse backgrounds; identified opportunities to improve recruitment, retention, and professional development of diverse individuals pursuing health policy careers; and discussed vehicles for supporting and sustaining career in health policy.
For more information, see “Fellowships Providing Public Policy Training or Experience,” a table compiled by Christopher Loftis at the National Health Policy Forum and “Senate Staff Employment Study Salary, Tenure, and Demographic Data: 1991-2001,” by the Congressional Management Foundation.