The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today that Assistant Secretary of State Lee Satterfield will deliver remarks to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) National Capitol Forum today in Washington D.C.
To advance efforts to pursue diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) for underserved communities in support of foreign policy goals, Assistant Secretary Satterfield’s remarks will build on the historic October 2022 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). That agreement, signed by Secretary of State Blinken and HACU President Antonio Flores, bolstered DEIA in the U.S. foreign policy workforce, and extended international education opportunities to students at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs are U.S. institutions of higher education at which at least 25% of full-time undergraduate students are Hispanic.
A core tenet of the State Department-HACU agreement is increasing diversity within the State Department to build a workforce that reflects the American public. Students, including those from HSIs, who complete the Benjamin Gilman exchange program for undergraduate Pell grantees; the Critical Language Scholarship exchange program for immersive language study; or, the U.S. Fulbright Student exchange program, are eligible for a special status in applying for future federal employment. In addition, the Department and HACU are promoting paid internships to HSI and other students across the United States, an effort designed to diversity and increase the pipeline of the foreign policy workforce.
International education is also a major focus of the MOU, with a redoubling of efforts by both the Department and HACU to recruit more international students from around the globe to U.S.-based HSIs. More than 140,000 international students studied at HSIs in 2022, which comprises 15 percent of all international students studying in the U.S., according to the Open Doors Report, an annual census on student mobility trends worldwide.
In addition, the Department and HACU are working to increase the numbers of Hispanic American students from HSIs who study abroad to pre-pandemic levels, with Gilman, CLS, the Fulbright Program, and the IDEAS grant program offering crucial resources and tools to make that a reality.
HACU is a national membership association which represents 500 colleges and universities that collectively serve two-thirds of the more than 3.8 million Hispanic students in U.S. higher education across 38 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as institutions in Spain and Latin America. It is the only organization dedicated to representing Hispanic Serving Institutions.
More information on the MOU can be found at: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the U.S. Department of State and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).