CIA Participates in Arab-American Day Festivals
November 6, 2012
As part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s nationwide diversity outreach efforts, a multilingual team of CIA officers greeted attendees at Arab American Day Festivals this Fall in Phoenix, Arizona and Garden Grove, California. The CIA has been a regular and welcome participant in these popular cultural events—the Phoenix festival attracted some 30,000 participants—held in late October and late September, respectively.
CIA booths at the festivals, positioned among food and craft vendors, were popular spots for adults and children alike. At the Phoenix event some parents were overheard urging youngsters to “meet the people protecting our country.” Officers spoke about the Agency’s mission, their professional experiences and the CIA’s strong interest in hiring qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds. CIA team members communicated with festival goers in Arabic, Armenian, Punjabi and Urdu. Following each festival an Agency historian gave a spirited talk about myths and realities of the CIA to audiences at local community centers.
“The CIA is committed to attracting talented Americans of all cultural backgrounds because the Agency needs their experience, knowledge and skills,” CIA Director David H. Petraeus said at CIA Headquarters when discussing the importance of inclusion to the mission. “The Agency cannot succeed without diversity. It is crucial to our intelligence mission to have people who understand the nuances about the world we operate in.”
Carmen Middleton, Director of the Agency’s Center for Mission Diversity and Inclusion (CMDI), said: “The CIA reaches out to ethnic communities like Arab-Americans to talk about what the Agency does to protect the nation and let people know about opportunities to serve their country. These enduring relationships are vital to ensuring the CIA workforce fully reflects our country’s diverse complexion.”
CMDI spearheads CIA's efforts to build a diverse and inclusive workforce. The Center partners with professional organizations and community-based groups to deepen the Agency’s connections to diverse communities and educate the public about career opportunities at the CIA*.