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Charter of the Midwest Area Diversity and Equal Opportunity Council

The Midwest Area (MWA) Diversity and Equal Opportunity Council was established to assist the Area Director in implementing U.S. Executive Order 11478, which states that "It is the policy of the Government of the United States to provide equal opportunity in Federal employment for all persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and mental and physical handicap, and to promote the full realization of equal opportunity through a continuing affirmative employment program in each executive department and agency. This policy of equal opportunity applies to and must be an integral part of every aspect of personnel policy and practice in the employment, development, advancement, and treatment of civilian employees of the Federal Government" and as amended pursuant to Executive Order 13087 and 13152 to include sexual orientation and individual's status as a parent. Accordingly, a workforce rich in diverse talent, ideas, and backgrounds is essential to the MWA mission of conducting innovative research to create economically and environmentally sustainable agricultural systems that will provide food, renewable green products and energy for the benefit of all US and world citizens. The MWA is committed to fostering diversity in its workforce by promoting equal opportunities and developing strategies to further these goals.


The Council will be officially known as the Midwest Area Diversity and Equal Opportunity Council, hereinafter referred to as the "Council."



The Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Area Directors, assisting them in fulfilling the objectives of USDA's Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity strategic plan, and of the related Departmental Cultural Transformation programs. The Council will assist in formulating and recommending approaches and processes to the Area Directors, which will enhance the diversity of current and future applicant pools for all positions; and create a workplace that attracts and retains a diverse workforce. Council members will serve as their location's contact for communication and coordination of Council initiatives. 


Vision Statement

The vision of the Council is to create a diverse workforce and promote a positive work environment where all employees are respected and valued for their contributions.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Council is to enhance diversity which promotes scientific excellence and service in support of the Agricultural Research Service mission. The Council will provide advice and recommendations to the Area Directors in a variety of issues focused on achieving a diverse workforce and treating all employees with fairness and respect. The Council will 1) facilitate recruitment, outreach, and communication to promote a diverse job applicant pool; 2) advance Cultural Transformation initiatives to create a workplace environment which promotes work-life quality and employee satisfaction; and 3) increase employee awareness of diversity, equal employment opportunity, and civil rights. 

Goals and Objectives

Council Membership

The Council consists of nine members from MWA locations and reflects the employees, positions, and location composition within the MWA. The Area Directors will serve as the Sponsors.


The MWA-ODEO Program Manager and the Area Director's Executive Assistant serve as Technical Advisors. Council members will serve a 3-year term beginning in January. New members will shadow rotating council membership beginning in October to when their official appointment begins. Council members are nominated by the Location Coordinator and recommended to the Technical Advisors and Sponsors. If a member cannot complete a term, a new appointee will be nominated to complete the term of their predecessor. The Sponsors will approve nominations.


The council will elect a Chair, vice-Chair, and Recorder, who will lead the Council. Each will serve in these positions for a 1 year term, at which time the vice-Chair will assume the Chair position. A new vice-Chair will then be elected.


Roles and Responsibilities

Sponsors will:

Technical Advisors will:

Chairperson, with the assistance of the vice-Chair, will:

Vice-Chair will:

Recorder will:

All Members will:

The Council is Not Empowered to: