Department of Commerce appoints first-ever "Counselor for Equity"
ยท Feb 18, 2023 ยท

The Department of Commerce (DOC) appointed Ines Hernandez this week as its first-ever "counselor for equity" to "institutionalize equity across all workstreams and advise senior leadership on policy design and implementation strategies that help advance the equity agenda."

Hernandez will work in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Council, which, according to the DOC, "provides cross-bureau coordination, policy development, and administrative support for initiatives that: institutionalize equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility across the Department's programs and operations; support bureaus in creating a positive internal culture and raise program officials' consciousness of systemic barriers."

Hernandez previously worked as a counselor at a Florida International University "innovation," where she "put innovative frameworks in place to ensure the organization's reach extended to all South Florida communities," Fox News reports.

"My years of experience working to bring financial inclusion and economic empowerment to culturally diverse communities will guide me as I continue to advocate for economic mobility at the national level," Hernandez said.

The DOC said Hernandez has over 20 years of experience "navigating intersecting issues, including financial inclusion, small business development, workforce development, affordable housing, climate policy, public health, and equity."

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to all federal agencies to compose an "equity action plan" to "address the barriers underserved communities may face in accessing and benefiting from the agency's policies."'

"Despite the meaningful progress that the Biden-Harris Administration has made, the reality is that underserved communities โ€” many of whom have endured generations of discrimination and disinvestment โ€” still confront unacceptable barriers to equal opportunity and the American Dream," the White House said in a statement. "It is imperative that we reject the narrow, cramped view of American opportunity as a zero-sum game."

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