Updated: Mar 9
Fairfax, VA — The National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics (NILE) announced today the formation of a Task Force designed to examine diversity issues within the lobbying and government affairs profession. Since the rise of protests for racial justice, those in the profession have come together to talk about the lack of diversity that exists and the need to find ways to reverse decades of prejudice and racism. NILE is committed to learning and becoming part of the solution in order to lead by example.
The Task Force will be charged with making recommendations to help educate employers and hiring managers on current practices that discriminate against lobbyists based on their race, sexual orientation, and/or gender expression. Once these practices have been identified, the goal is to create recommendations on how the profession can become stronger and more credible by promoting the idea that every firm, every association, and every corporation is made better by having a diverse staff. We must move beyond empty gestures or doing the minimum. The Task Force will look at ways we can work to create opportunities from the top down in every organization for persons of color, so that they better reflect the faces making up the profession. The aim is that these recommendations will give lobbyists the tools they need to not only better understand this issue and how it impacts them, but will help to make changes in our professional lives to promote diversity and inclusion.
The lobbying profession is not alone in its lack of diversity practices, but it is taking real proactive steps to begin that change. This Task Force aims to set a new standard when it comes to hiring and promoting practices at all levels. NILE is committed to working with leaders to help them implement policies that focus on creating a stronger more diverse team and growing the lobbying and government affairs profession.
“For far too long, the lobbying profession has been an exclusive club, not at all reflective of the diversity of America nor the growing diversity of Congress, stated Larry Gonzalez, The Raben Group.
“This Task Force is a well-organized group of diverse professionals who bring their own experiences and insight on the systemic racial discrimination in our profession to create a real to- do list that will begin addressing the long standing inequities in government relations,” added Gonzalez.
“Our profession has an opportunity to really look inward and examine our own institutionalized prejudices, stated Paul Miller, Board Chair, NILE. “The conversations won’t always be easy, but I am optimistic that the group we have assembled will provide us with recommendations on how to correct past mistakes and change our profession for the better,” added Miller.
Members of the Task Force include:
Cristina Antelo, Ferox Strategies
Larry Gonzalez, The Raben Group (Co-Chair) Paul A. Miller, Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies (Co-Chair) Kevin Cain, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Tommy Goodwin, Project Management Institute Jocelyn Hong, Jocelyn Hong & Associates David L. Kim, The IAMBIC Group LLC/Korean Americans for Political Action
Ellen Kuo, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Paul Thornell, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas Todd White, Rulon & White Governance Strategies et al LLC Eriade Williams, American Continental Group
The National Institute For Lobbying & Ethics is the premiere professional association for those in the lobbying and government affairs professions. NILE is focused on providing its members with the continuing education they need to stay compliant in a profession that continues to evolve.