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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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SMG 2010.4




Effective Date: August 5, 2004

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose


This charter describes the duties and responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Diversity Council, the organization of its membership, and its operating procedures. This charter also explains the structure of the Diversity Council, its reporting relationships to the Management Council, the Commissioner of the FDA, and the Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management (OEEODM).


The Diversity Council was designed to serve as a working advisory body to the Commissioner of the FDA, the Management Council, and the Director of OEEODM. Its purpose is to foster effective diversity management practices in the agency, promote workforce diversity initiatives, and integrate the principles of diversity in the FDA, in accordance with the FDA's Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity. The Council is a forum to discuss diversity issues; share ideas and information on diversity matters and events; collaborate on and implement diversity initiatives; and leverage organizational resources. Its mission is to foster an environment of acceptance, inclusion, and cooperation.

3. SCOPE. 

The Diversity Council is a sub-committee of the Management Council and serves as an advisory body to the Commissioner of the FDA, the Management Council, and Director of OEEODM, to support and promote the principles of equity and diversity throughout the FDA.


The following are the responsibilities of the Diversity Council:

a. Reviews FDA's programs, policies, and initiatives as they relate to workforce diversity, including strategic action plans, reports, and policy statements, and makes recommendations to the Management Council and Commissioner of the FDA in support of diversity in the workplace.

b. Provides advice and consultation to the Commissioner and Director, OEEODM on the development and implementation of FDA's diversity management initiatives, including: ensuring equal access to employment, training, and educational opportunities; improving understanding of cultural characteristics and differences within the workforce; performing organizational assessments; serving as a change agent to improve the organizational culture; and supporting leadership development in the area of diversity management and conflict prevention and resolution.

c. Ensures diversity is considered in strategic management initiatives and that strategic planning is aligned with diversity management objectives.

d. Develops and supports initiatives aimed at promoting diversity in the FDA.

e. Serves as a communication channel through which all FDA employees will be able to express ideas as they relate to diversity issues, and a link between employees and management.

f. Supports the commissioner and Director, OEEODM in other appropriate ways to foster an atmosphere of acceptance, inclusion, equity, and diversity in the FDA.

g. Assists FDA managers in their efforts to enhance and promote diversity in their respective organizations.

h. Provides an annual report of its activities and recommendations to the FDA Management Council.


The Diversity Council is a subcommittee of the Management Council and reports to the Management Council. The Diversity Council operates under the auspices of an elected Chairperson and receives staff support from the OEEODM, as available. The Diversity Council comprises voting and non-voting representatives from across the Agency. Council Membership and its respective responsibilities are as follows:

a. Chairperson/Vice Chairperson:

1. A Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall be elected annually by a simple majority of the Diversity Council members present at the time of election. Elections shall be held at the November Council meeting and the newly elected Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall take office in January. The Chair and Vice-Chair may serve no more than two consecutive terms in each position.

2. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Council and have the authority and responsibility customarily conferred on presiding officers.

3. The Chairperson shall be responsible for directing the activities of the Council and planning its work agendas. The Chairperson shall prepare and disseminate an agenda for each meeting at least seen days in advance of the meeting.

4. The Chair shall be responsible for maintaining minutes for each meeting of the Council, and other record keeping duties, as necessary.

5. The Chairperson may appoint task groups to study, research, or report on issues related to the mission of the Council and to implement Council projects, as voted on by the Council. These assignments shall become part of the minutes of the Diversity Council.

6. The Chairperson shall submit an annual report of the Council's activities to the Commissioner and Management Council.

7. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chairperson will assume responsibility for the operation of the Diversity Council.

b. Voting Members:

1. Two appointed representatives (one management employee and one non-management employee) from each FDA Center and the Office of the Commissioner.

2. Two appointed representatives (one management employee and one non-management employee) representing the headquarters office of the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

3. Two appointed representatives (one management employee and one non-management employee) representing the field offices of the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

4. Responsibilities for voting members shall be outlined in a Statement of Roles and Responsibilities for Diversity Council Representatives.

c. Non-Voting Members:

1. One Union Representative

2. The FDA's Human Resources Liaison

3. Three Representatives from OEEODM

d. Other Officers and participants may be appointed/invited to the Council at the discretion of the Chairperson.


a. Diversity Council Meetings

1. The Diversity Council will meet on the first Wednesday of every month in the Parklawn Building utilizing telephonic conference or PicTel communications, as necessary.

2. The Chairperson shall appoint a person to record meetings, prepare minutes, and distribute materials for review by Council members prior to each meeting. OEEODM shall provide staff support to the Council to the extent that its resources permit.

b. Method of Conducting Internal Business

1. The Diversity Council shall take action by the adoption of resolutions. Resolutions shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of the members present at any given Council meeting.

2. When resolutions are deemed unnecessary, the Council may take action by polling its members for consensus of opinions.

3. Consensus is reached when, after discussion and without a vote, the majority of the members present agree that an action should or should not be taken.

4. The Chairperson may appoint committees or working groups at his or her discretion. Such work groups may be long-term/standing or short-term/task oriented. Committees and short-term working groups will be dissolved when their work has been completed.

5. Amendments - This Charter may be altered, amended, or repealed and a new Charter adopted only upon action by a majority vote of all members present during a regular monthly meeting and with the approval of the Management Council.


The effective date of this guide is August 5, 2004. Upon signature, this charter will be valid until five years after the effective date at which time, the charter will be certified as current or revised as needed.