Biden’s HR Czars Cost Taxpayers Millions Annually As They Work To Diversify Federal Workforce

High-ranking bureaucrats tasked with advancing “racial justice” in federal hiring and retention practices are raking in hefty salaries — and costing taxpayers millions.

The heads of human resources at 22 different federal agencies and cabinet departments collectively drew in about $4.2 million a year as of 2022 in taxpayer-funded salaries, according to data from Open The Books and reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The average human resources official included in the DCNF’s review took home a taxpayer-funded salary of roughly $200,000 a year.

The DCNF’s analysis covered members of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCOC), an interagency board of top-ranking human resources officials in the federal government. The salaries of the chief human capital officers of the departments of State, Homeland Security, Defense, the Interior and Health and Human Services were not included in the DCNF’s salary total as their pay information could not be verified.

CHCOC is dedicated to “build[ing] a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workforce” in accordance with President Joe Biden’s agenda, according to the council’s 2022 report to Congress. The council said that it “champion[s] Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) initiatives across government.”

Biden issued an executive order in June 2021 ordering executive agencies to asses their “human resources practices” to ensure they are “affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity.” The order instructed agencies to “identify areas [in their human resource practices] where evidence is lacking” and propose opportunities “to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.”

Many of the top human resource officers at federal agencies have put out statements or directives endorsing workplace diversity policies since Biden’s executive order.

Jessica Palatka, the chief human capital officer at the Department of Commerce, in March 2023 ordered that agency managers “implement at least one initiative to raise awareness and emphasize the value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace,” that they provide staff with “programs or training that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and enhances cultural competency and fairness and equity in the workplace” and utilize communication strategies to “demonstrate support” for “diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts.”

Palatka also reminded her agency to verify that they were in compliance with Biden’s executive order on advancing racial equity through the federal government.

Palatka made $189,800 a year as of 2022, according to Open The Books’ database.

Catherine Emerson, who served as the Department of Justice’s top human resources official until January 2023, worked closely with the department’s first chief diversity officer to coordinate diversity initiatives beginning in August 2021. The chief diversity officer’s duties included making diversity trainings available to federal employees and “foster[ing] an organizational culture shift” in alignment with the Biden administration’s diversity directives.

Emerson made $203,700 annually in 2022, per Open The Books’ database.

The Department of Transportation’s top human resources official, Philip McNamara, boasted about how “as part of this administration, we have launched a plan to ensure that our workforce reflects the diversity of the communities we serve across the nation,” in a Washington Post job board listing.

McNamara took home a taxpayer-funded salary of $175,136 in 2022, according to records in Open The Books’ database.

Elias Hernandez, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) head of human resources, said in November 2021 that he had worked towards implementing Biden’s diversity executive order by conducting an assessment of his agency and convening a council with “representatives from across the agency to ensure we improve diversity, equity and inclusion,” according to Government Executive.

“SBA has an excellent foundation in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Hernandez said.

SBA paid Hernandez $273,455 in 2022, according to Open The Books’ database.

Department of Homeland Security Chief Human Capital Officer Roland Edwards said that he has “found that creating safe spaces for dialogue and allowing people to be themselves at work are powerful tools to advance [diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility],” mirroring the language in Biden’s executive order,  href="https://twitter.com/DHSgov/status/1760419899694829613" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">according to a social media post uploaded on Wednesday.

The DCNF’s analysis of federal human resource czar salaries included the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the Treasury.

The Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, NASA, Office of Management and Budget, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, USAID, Social Security Administration, National Science Foundation, Office of Personnel Management, Small Business Administration and U.S. International Trade Commission were also included.

The White House and the Office of Personnel Management did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

Republished with permission from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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