April 12, 2021


LCWINS applauds the appointment of Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley to the first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the State Dept.

Longtime diplomat and founding member of LCWINS, Ambassador Gina Abercombie-Winstanley, has been sworn in today to the inaugural position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the U.S. State Department. She will report directly to the Secretary of State.  

“There is no better person for this position” said Lindsay Rodman, executive director for LCWINS. “She has spent her career often being the only woman and person of color in the room and has worked tirelessly to seek better inclusion of those who looked more like her. This is bittersweet for LCWINS - we are losing a founder, but cannot imagine a better place for her to go and open doors widely for all Americans to succeed at the State Department.”

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, who served as deputy coordinator for counterterrorism and U.S. Ambassador to Malta, has spent her career breaking barriers.

“I’m so used to being one of the only,” Abercrombie-Winstanley told #PeopleofLCWINS. “You can’t spend too much time thinking about that. As time went on, though, it became increasingly irritating. I knew I shouldn’t be the only one like me in the room. But I just got on with the work.”

The work includes spearheading a recent report by the Truman Center for National Policy that proposed a data-led approach to improving diversity numbers: measuring under-representation and rigorously reporting efforts to address it.

The State Department under the leadership of Secretary Tony Blinken has made a public commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace -- one that looks more like America. The State Department has come under sharp criticism for its lack of diversity especially in its upper tier ranks.

“With Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley as chief of diversity I know that open leadership positions will be filled taking gender parity into consideration,” Rodman said.

LCWINS launched in June 2019 with a group of nearly 100 bipartisan national security professionals dedicated to ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the decision-making table. Study after study shows that including women at the top produces better outcomes.


The Leadership Council for Women in National Security improves national security by ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the policy-making table. LCWINS is an organization of women and allies from across the political spectrum working to advance gender inclusion at the highest levels of the U.S. national security and foreign policy workforce. LCWINS is fiscally sponsored by the Pacific Council on International Policy, a 501(c)(3).

For more information, contact: Press@lcwins.org