Sen. Cruz confronts chief diversity officer for discriminating against ‘straight white men’     

by Jacob Fuller

Matt Bush, FISM News


During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz questioned the State Department’s chief diversity and inclusion officer Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley about an email from a senior State Department official that allegedly discloses discriminatory hiring practices within her department specifically discriminated against certain groups of people.

“The email says that hiring practices have developed inside the State Department so that ‘certain candidates could not be hired because they have a disability, they are white men, they are straight, white men, they are not of the ‘right religion. None of this is legal and none of it comports with Department regulations,” Cruz stated, directly quoting a displayed email.

The senior official who allegedly wrote the email was never named, but Cruz did offer to provide Abercrombie-Winstanley with the exact header and details of the email.

Cruz referenced the email consistently during the questioning. While the email remains unverified, no one questioned the contents of the email nor the truth of its existence during or after the hearing.

After citing the email, Cruz asked Abercrombie-Winstanley if she cleared the hiring guidance, to which she answered, “I’ve never seen that before.” After Cruz pressed further, Abercrombie-Winstanley reiterated that she had not seen the email and stated that hiring practices like those described in the email are not followed.

Abercrombie-Winstanley was hired in April 2021 as the first chief diversity and inclusion officer in the State Department’s history. Prior to being named the chief diversity and inclusion officer, she was a diplomat serving most recently as the ambassador to Malta from 2012 to 2016.

In April 2022, the State Department released its “Equity Action Plan.” The plan’s stated purpose is that it “provides a roadmap for the U.S. Department of State to generate better-informed policies, programs, and processes to address barriers to equity worldwide and achieve our foreign policy goals. This includes sustained engagement with individuals from marginalized racial and ethnic groups and other underserved communities domestically and overseas.”

Abercrombie-Winstanley told Cruz that there was no overt or purposeful discrimination happening at the State Department. She also admitted that the State Department is not perfect when it comes to discrimination stating, “Certainly there are members of our organization who do discriminate, who do harass, who do bully, which is why we are trying to put in place programs to address it and to strengthen accountability for those who do it, who break the law.”

“What is your job if not to stop discrimination?” Cruz asked near the end of his questioning. “Unfortunately, I believe your job in practice is encouraging this discrimination.”