The U.S. Department of State renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), as part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and its long-standing commitment to the Hispanic community, which reinforces the Department’s commitment to increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and support for, traditionally underserved communities in the United States. Today’s signing between Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and HACU President Antonio Flores, Ph.D., renews a partnership that was first put in place by former Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2001. The MOU focuses on three key areas: workforce development, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA), and international education.

Spanning more than 20 years, the Department’s work with HACU continues, through the MOU, to develop a partnership designed to increase awareness among students, faculty, and staff at HACU member institutions regarding programs, activities, careers, and employment opportunities at the Department of State; and increase awareness at the Department of State about issues of importance to the Hispanic community and opportunities to participate in HACU activities.

The Department engages with students, staff, and faculty at HACU institutions on several fronts, with a goal of increasing understanding of the nation’s foreign affairs work, attracting diverse applicants to a career in foreign affairs, and recruiting participants for exchange programs sponsored through the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) including the Fulbright Program, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Critical Language Scholarships, among others.

For example, ECA established the Fulbright Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Leaders Initiative to recognize the strong partnerships between the Fulbright Program and selected HSIs, to encourage all HSIs to increase their Fulbright engagement and appreciate the role that the Fulbright Program plays in supporting campus internationalization efforts.  This initiative contributes to the Department’s long-standing commitment to expand diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and within ECA’s international exchange programs overall.

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.

For further information, please contact the ECA Press Office at ECA-Press@state.gov or visit eca.state.gov.

U.S. Department of State

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