[Electronic copy.  Signed original on file in Office of Policy]





Director’s Order #16B:  Diversity in the National Park Service




Approved:  Jonathan B. Jarvis



Effective Date:  3/29/2012


Duration: This order will remain in effect until amended or rescinded by the Director





[1].    Purpose and Background

[2].    Authority for Issuing this Director’s Order

[3].    Diversity Goals and Policies

[4].    Diversity Beyond the Workforce

[5].    Responsibilities

[6].    Related Guidance Documents



[1].  Background and Purpose


The term “diversity” is used broadly to refer to many demographic variables such as race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age, education, geographic origin, and skill characteristics.  The National Park Service recognizes that America's diversity has given this country its unique strength, resilience and richness.  The Service also recognizes that its greatest promise in the 21st century cannot be achieved unless we improve on our record of including the diversity of this Nation in all of the National Park Service’s activities.  These activities include, but are not limited to, managing our workforce, our partnerships and collaborative programs, and our procurement activities.  One of our most urgent challenges in the 21st century is to actually increase the overall participation of diverse groups in these activities, which will clearly demonstrate our commitment to achieving the goal of diversity in the workplace. Improving diversity in all National Park Service activities will ensure that we remain a relevant organization in this century and beyond.


Within the Service, the concept of diversity includes—

·         respecting and appreciating individual differences and ensuring all employees are included as full, contributing, and influential team members;

·         creating and maintaining an inclusive approach to all policies and practices;

·         educating the workforce on diversity;

·         ensuring that diversity principles are incorporated in the hiring process; and

·         facilitating culture change to support new behaviors.


The purpose of this Director’s Order is to articulate our policies for seeking and achieving diversity in the workplace.  It supplements section (Workforce Diversity) of Management Policies 2006, and supersedes any conflicting guidance that may have been issued previously.


[2].  Authority for Issuing this Director's Order


Authority for issuing this Director's Order is contained in Executive Order 13583 (August 18, 2011), the 1916 NPS Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1 through 4) and delegations of authority found in Part 245 of the Department of the Interior Manual.  This Order is designed to promote the National Park Service workplace as a model of equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.  This Order is intended only to improve the internal management of the NPS and is not intended to, and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.


[3].  Diversity Goals and Policies


The foundation of our diversity policies rests on zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and requires a commitment to goals that must be clearly communicated to our employees and potential employees. These goals include—

·         educating our managers, supervisors and employees by providing training on valuing diversity and managing for diversity;

·         recruiting a diverse workforce by developing and using targeted recruitment plans to expand the pool of qualified applicants and diverse employees;

·         retaining a workforce that reflects diversity, monitoring employee development, and promotion practices to ensure equal access to equal opportunities by all employees;

·         ensuring that employees are treated with respect, free from harassment, intolerance, and discrimination;

·         ensuring accountability by reviewing, evaluating and monitoring management actions to make sure they incorporate our goals for improving our diversity; and,

·         ensuring the diversity of this Nation is represented at all levels throughout the National Park Service; and

·         ensuring that our commitment to diversity is reflected in the way we manage our partnerships, collaborative programs, and procurement activities.


In an era when our flexibility, adaptability, and critical thinking are paramount to our readiness, a well-managed, highly diverse workforce is imperative to achieving operational excellence.  The National Park Service is fully committed to utilizing the potential that embracing diversity brings.  Good inclusion and diversity practices help us to identify and develop the best talent, create effective teams, achieve excellence, and attain mission success.  In A Call to Action, the National Park Service has included an action plan to develop a workforce that values diversity and an inclusive work environment in order to attract, retain, and cultivate a workforce that represents the range of personal and professional backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives that arise from differences of culture and circumstances.


Therefore, to achieve our diversity goals the Service will—

·         value employees in all occupations and organizational levels, and provide them the opportunities for working to their full potential and making their maximum contributions toward achieving the organization’s mission and goals;

·         strive to build a workforce that always reflects the diversity of our citizenry at all locations and levels;

·         continue to improve our efforts to actively recruit, hire, develop, and retain a workforce that reflects the demographics of this Nation at all levels and locations; and

·         continue to aggressively work toward building a work environment where workforce diversity is embraced, where there is zero tolerance of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and where the mission of this organization is achieved through collaboration and teamwork.


[4].  Diversity Beyond the Workforce


Beyond workforce diversity, integrating inclusion and diversity principles into NPS management practices provides opportunities to facilitate organizational change, harness employee potential, achieve performance goals, enhance external and internal customer satisfaction, and produce stronger work products, thus furthering our mission.  We will continue to improve our efforts to faithfully tell the complete story in our interpretive themes and programs and in our educational and informational materials and promote our national treasures in diverse publications and media.  We will continue our aggressive efforts to integrate diversity into our daily operations by respecting cultures, languages, and different perspectives and by education our employees, partners, stakeholders, and diverse communities through our civic engagement initiatives.


It is very important that the diverse groups of this Nation are provided opportunities to participate in all activities of this organization.  Diverse businesses, vendors and contractors are representative of the citizenry of this Nation and we are totally committed to improving their participation in our contracting and procurement activities.  We will also strive to increase the number of partnership arrangements and cooperative agreements with diverse colleges, universities, associations and organizations through our collaboration and partnerships with diverse groups.


The Service recognizes that it is important that citizens, when they visit units of the National Park System, see staff that is reflective of the diversity of America.  Further, it is important that these sites provide a deeper connection and a demonstrated reflectance to the communities by the stories told.  Having diversity at all of our sites and areas means not only including the representation of those groups that are now conspicuously absent, but also enhancing and including, not sacrificing, the talents of the employees currently in the workforce.  As a Federal agency, the National Park Service has an obligation to be a model employer, but we cannot be an adequate model without improving our diversity.


[5].  Responsibilities


A.  The National Park Service Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program Plan, as prescribed by the EEOC’s Management Directive 715 (MD-715), was approved on December 20, 2004, and updated March 5, 2008.  In accordance with the Plan, the Servicewide Equal Employment Opportunity Program Manager will ensure that—

·         the EEO Program Plan is communicated Servicewide; and

·         any action items identified in the EEO Program Plan are communicated to those who are responsible for implementing the actions[.]


B.  In our continuous pursuit [of] excellence, all personnel share responsibility for ensuring that everyone’s talents and contributions are recognized, valued, and used in a manner that contributes to mission accomplishment.


C.  To achieve our goal of recruiting, developing, and maintaining a diverse workforce, all supervisors and managers must demonstrate their commitment through proactive leadership that articulates a clear and focused common vision.  This commitment to improving our diversity also will be demonstrated  by our managers and supervisors at every possible opportunity in—

·         discussions at meetings with employees;

·         conferences;

·         seminars;

·         training sessions; and

·         meetings with stakeholders and partners.


D.  Managers and supervisors will be held accountable for their efforts to improve the diversity and address inclusion and diversity of the National Park Service through EEO critical elements in their performance standards and evaluations.   We fully expect our leaders to demonstrate this commitment by aggressively eliminating barriers to success for all of our employees, contractors, and volunteers; and seeking new and innovative ways to diversify our talent pool and be more inclusive.


E.  It is essential that employees understand that they are personally responsible for ensuring that the workplace environment is conducive to inclusiveness and tolerance of our differences.  This extends to managers with decision-making authority for contracts, procurements, grants, and cooperative agreements, who must take into full consideration this Order, Executive Orders 11625, 12138, 12432, 13157, and any other Federal policies, regulations, and statutes that will help achieve diversity in the workplace.


F.  All managers and supervisors tasked with taking actions prescribed in the EEO Program Plan will provide timely information to the EEO Program Manager regarding the status of action items and any other EEO related issues for which the Service is required to generate and analyze data.


G.  If significant disagreement should accompany our efforts to achieve diversity, managers and supervisors will employ conflict management resources and techniques such as the Department’s conflict resolution program (http://www.doi.gov/cadr/).


H.  An Inclusion and Diversity Workforce Strategy is one key component within an overarching inclusion, diversity, and relevance effort that also recognizes the importance of our interactions with visitors and with communities outside of our parks.  We will also incorporate inclusion and diversity into our program content (e.g., interpretive stories and exhibits), which will enable the Service to connect with non-traditional visitors to our parks and be responsive and welcoming to the needs of the full spectrum of the increasingly diverse and multi-cultural American public.  Ultimately, the principles of inclusion and diversity will be organically and organizationally imbedded such that it is seamlessly and transparently executed in our culture.


[6].  Related Guidance Documents


This Director's Order may be supplemented by an annual statement affirming the Director’s diversity commitment.  The Order is one in a series that also will include—


#16A:  Reasonable Accommodations for Applicants and Employees with Disabilities (Being revised since issuance May 4, 1999.)

#16C:  Discrimination Complaints Process

#16D:  Equal Employment Opportunity and Zero Tolerance of Discrimination

#16E:  Sexual Harassment

#16F:  National Park Service Anti-Harassment Policy


Other Director’s Orders with applicability include—

#75A:  Civic Engagement and Public Involvement

#93:  Conflict Resolution


Additional guidance is available, including—

·         [t]he Secretary’s policy on equal opportunity and diversity at http://www.doi.gov/pmb/eeo/upload/2011-Policy-on-Zero-Tolerance-of-Discrimination-and-Harassment.pdf[;]

·         [t]he diversity web page at http://www.doi.gov/diversity/workforce_diversity.html[.]

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