OSTP Senior Policy Advisor for Public Engagement in Science Dr. Erica Kimmerling and OSTP Legal Counsel Min Hee Kim

On the first day of the Biden-Harris Administration, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” calling for the Federal Government to pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. 

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is committed to advancing both equity in science and technology, and science and technology for equity.  Because of OSTP’s ability to directly influence national science and technology policy decision-making, and to convene federal agencies across the government and entities outside it, OSTP is uniquely positioned to pursue these goals. 

To advance these goals, OSTP has articulated an expanded mission and values statement where principles of equity are tightly integrated throughout.  Grounded by those mission and values statements, OSTP continues to create opportunities to further equity-driven work and pilot inclusive engagement approaches.

As a foundational step, from the beginning of this Administration, OSTP has identified and onboarded a number of scholars with expertise in equity, including individuals who can bring an equity lens to policy-making in areas such as climate, energy, agriculture, and health, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, employment, and engagement.

In Fall 2021, an OSTP working group was established to further the development and implementation of an internal equity action plan. The purpose of the working group has been to develop a practice and culture at OSTP that embeds equity considerations from conceptualization to implementation of policy, and that routinely centers equity as a key evaluative component of effective policy. To ensure our work includes people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality, the action plan includes efforts to:

  1. Develop OSTP’s capacity to advance equitable science and technology policy; and
  2. Employ, and have our work informed by, inclusive stakeholder engagement.

The full details of the OSTP Equity Action Plan can be found here. You can also learn more about the Administration’s Equity Agenda here and Government-Wide Equity Efforts here.

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