54. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (Crockett) to All Assistant Secretaries and Executive Directors1


  • Assuring the Equal Consideration of Minority Applicants in Outside Recruitment of Officers

I have today directed our Budget Office to require that requests to the Employment Control Committee for Outside Officer Recruitment be accompanied by an indication of whether minority applicants have been given equal consideration for the position in question. The purpose of this action is two-fold:

To encourage more consideration of minority applicants for the positions we have to fill and to urge bureaus to automatically include minority candidates in their talent hunt as soon as vacancies are known; and
To provide a basis for briefing the Secretary on equal employment opportunity, “as a fact and a result,” in the Department of State.

The first point flows naturally from a statement the Secretary has often repeated:

“Key talent is located by a sort of chain of conversation-gossip, if you like. You get hold of people whom you know and you say, ‘Do you know someone who can do this?’ They get hold of someone else, and it is in this sort of informal chain of conversation that the most significant part of the talent hunt goes on. In this respect, the minority groups in this country are somewhat out of the circles of gossip. We must find some way to tie our minority groups into the realistic processes through which talented individuals are located.”

As you know, in 1961 I created the Office of Employment Practices to help us locate qualified minority candidates for employment. Since that time we have scouted out hundreds of applicants, but only a relative few have been given any realistic consideration and even fewer have been employed. The Bureaus, as well as our central recruiters, should make better use of the reservoir of minority talent which is available. At the same time, the bureaus, through their own seeking out of candidates, should be more aggressive in finding and employing qualified minority applicants.

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I am attaching for your information a recent survey of the number and location of Negro officers in the Department.2 We had a total net increase of only 15 officers in 1965, the lowest since 1961. We actually had a net decrease of FSO’s due to attrition. The prospect for more Negroes entering the Foreign Service is much brighter now, however, thanks to the Foreign Affairs Scholars Program. Also attached for your information is a status report on this program.3

Through an accelerated equal employment opportunity program, we hope to substantially improve our minority employment record this year. We will also intensify efforts to provide better personnel support and services for our employees in the lower grades. To do this, however, we will need the support and cooperation of every bureau and every supervisor.

The Special Assistant for Employment Practices, Eddie Williams, is always available for consultation on minority applicants. I hope that you will take advantage of his expertise in minority recruiting and of the numerous files which he has collected.

I will keep you personally informed of our activities in the EEO field, and will continue to look to you for support and suggestions.

William J. Crockett 4
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, Crockett Papers, MS 74–28, WJC Book. No classification marking. Drafted by Eddie Williams on February 14.
  2. Not attached, but see Document 66.
  3. Not found.
  4. Printed from a copy that indicates Crockett signed the original.