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Biden's HR czars are costing taxpayers millions annually as they work to diversify the federal workforce

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

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

The analysis of the DCNF included members of the Council of Human Capital Directors (CHCOC), an interagency board of top human resources officials in the federal government. The salaries of the heads of human capital in the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, and Health and Human Services were not included in the DCNF salary total because their salary information could not be verified.

CHCOC is dedicated to “building[ing] a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workforce” in line with President Joe Biden's agenda, seconds in the council's 2022 report to Congress. The council said he is “a champion[s] Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Initiatives (DEIA) Across Government.”

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

Many top human resources officials at federal agencies have issued statements or directives endorsing workplace diversity policies since Biden's executive order.

Jessica Palatka, the director of human capital at the Commerce Department, in March 2023 orderly 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 improves cultural competence and fairness and equity in the workplace” and use communication strategies to “demonstrate support” for “diversity, equity, inclusion efforts and accessibility”.

Palatka also reminded his agency to verify compliance with Biden's executive order on advancing racial equity across the federal government.

Palatka earned $189,800 a year starting in 2022, according to the Open The Books database.

Catherine Emerson, who served as the Justice Department's top human resources official until January 2023, worked closely with the department's first Chief Diversity Officer to coordinate diversity initiatives from August 2021. Chief Diversity Officer works included making diversity training available to federal employees and “foster[ing] an organizational culture change” in line with the Biden administration's diversity guidelines.

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

The Department for Transport's top human resources officer, Philip McNamara, boasted how “as part of this administration, we have launched a plan to ensure our workforce reflects the diversity of the communities we serve in across the country,” in a Washington Post. job board listing.

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

Elias Hernandez, head of human resources at the Small Business Administration (SBA), said in November 2021 that he had worked to implement Biden's diversity executive order by conducting an assessment of his agency and convening a council with “representatives of across the agency to ensure that we improve diversity, equity and inclusion,” seconds to the 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 the Open The Books database.

The Department of Homeland Security's director of human capital, Roland Edwards, said he “has found that creating safe spaces for dialogue and allowing people to be themselves at work are powerful tools for moving forward.” [diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility]”, mirroring the language of Biden's executive order, seconds in a social media post uploaded Wednesday.

Meet Roland, our Chief Human Capital, who understands the importance of diversity and equity during #BlackHistoryMonth and throughout the year. She is dedicated to creating work environments where team members feel safe to be themselves and do their best work. #We are DHS

— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) February 21, 2024

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

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

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

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