Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies Named Employee Resource Group of the Year

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 9, 2009
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) was named Employee Resource Group (ERG) of the year by Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. GILFAA is the first federal employee organization to receive an award from Out & Equal. Ajit Joshi, Program Director for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance and Policy Director for GLIFAA, will accept the award on behalf of GLIFAA.

GLIFAA membership consists of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and straight employees of U.S. federal agencies including USAID and the Department of State. As part of this award process, GLIFAA received letters of recommendation from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Representative Tammy Baldwin, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Secretary Clinton applauded GLIFAA for 17 years of promoting equality in the federal workplace and acknowledged its influence in changing Department of State policy regarding same-sex partners of Foreign Service Officers. "This change in policy will increase morale and help us to retain our talented employees," said Clinton. For more information on the policy change at the Department of State, please visit this website - http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/06/125083.htm

GLIFAA's successful influence on this policy came from its grass roots coalition of 2,200 people, 92% of whom were married to an opposite-sex spouse or single, and efforts on the Hill, the Administration, and LGBT organizations. Joshi predicts that Secretary Clinton's actions "may have serious 'domino-effect' benefits for LGBT diplomats of other nations serving in the United States, LGBT immigrants, and LGBT government employees outside the State Department."

For more information on employment with USAID, please visit our website at www.usaid.gov.

Last updated: February 28, 2012

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