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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) 

SAMHSA is committed to reflecting DEIA across the workforce to realize its mission more effectively by promoting diversity, fostering equity, enhancing inclusion, improving accessibility, supporting employee well-being, driving accountability, and encouraging innovation, and collaboration.

In response to Executive Order 14035 on DEIA in the Federal Government, SAMHSA has drafted an internal DEIA Operational plan which outlines key objectives and goals for DEIA at SAMHSA guided by the 8 Initiatives identified by the EO. The list below provides a high-level summary of the response to each initiative.

  1. Data Collection: Conduct barrier analysis; establish internal DEIA Committee; expand collection of LGBTQ+ data; develop and disseminate Workforce Demographic Survey, develop interactive DEIA dashboard
  2. Promoting Paid Internships: Increase availability of paid internships via the SAMHSA Internship Program
  3. Partnership and Equitable Recruitment: Increase utilization of Schedule-A hiring authority; develop a targeted DEIA recruitment protocol; increase HBCUs, HSI, & TCU partnerships
  4. Professional Development: Implement mandatory annual DEIA training for all staff; increase mentoring opportunities and retention, provide DEIA detail opportunities; add DEIA as a performance standard; establish and support Affinity Groups and ERGs
  5. Equity for Employees with Disabilities: Expand inclusiveness and accessibility; enhance reasonable accommodations; utilize resources to hire qualified candidates with disabilities
  6. Equity for LGBTQ+ Employees: Implement training for all staff and managers; include a targeted focus in recruitment; include non-binary and gender identity questions in employment questionnaires
  7. Pay Equity: Assess GS levels by diverse staff groupings; review internal policies and practices regarding pay setting to ensure equity
  8. Opportunities for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: Connect with programs for formerly incarcerated individuals, and individuals in recovery from mental illness & substance use disorder who were formerly incarcerated to expand opportunities


  1. To promote diversity through representation, recruitment and retention
  2. To foster equity through fair practices, equal opportunities and pay equity
  3. To enhance inclusion by building an inclusive workplace culture, encouraging active employee engagement, and providing ongoing DEIA training and education
  4. To improve accessibility by creating policies that support and ensure the workplace is both physically and technologically accessible to employees with disabilities
  5. To support employee well-being by providing mental heath and work-life balance resources and establishing Employee Resource and Affinity Groups
  6. To drive accountability by setting clear DEIA goals and regularly tracking progress, ensuring that all leaders are committed to and accountable for established goals, and maintaining transparency in DEIA efforts
  7. To encourage innovation and collaboration by leveraging the diverse perspectives of employees and fostering a collaborative work environment.

The Approach

DEIA@SAMHSA is committed to workforce diversification through the following initiatives:

  1. Implementing the DEIA Operational Plan in its entirety and achieving stated goals.
  2. Leveraging the DEIA Internal Committee to drive sustainable initiatives and programs for DEIA.
  3. Creating Affinity Groups and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture.
  4. Offering DEIA-specific training programs to educate and develop the entire workforce.

SAMHSA, via its Office of Management, Technology, and Operations, (OMTO), has established the Internal DEIA Committee (DEIAC) to serve as a catalyst for DEIA efforts at SAMHSA.  The DEIAC's main function is to facilitate the implementation of the initiatives designed to enhance overall workforce diversity broadly across SAMHSA as outlined in the DEIA Operational plan.

The DEIAC also provides insight to Leadership to enhance overall workforce diversity at SAMHSA. Membership is comprised of 2-3 representatives from each Center/Office who were nominated to serve by their Center Director or Deputy Director.

Mission and Vision

Mission: To lead and support SAMHSA’s internal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) efforts while fostering a diverse and inclusive culture via the implementation of our Internal DEIA Operational Plan.

Vision: To encourage collaboration across the agency and embody DEIA practices and beliefs in our actions to make SAMHSA one of the best places to work in the federal government.

At SAMHSA, we strive to provide all employees with visibility, a voice/liaison to management, and support and recognition via Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Affinity Groups.

Establishing ERGs and Affinity Groups can:

  • Provide diverse perspectives via input to program offices concerning impacting health issues, scientific techniques, data collection, etc.
  • Ensure the Agency’s mission and presence are known throughout the community.
  • Identify barriers to achieving diversity objectives and/or equal employment opportunity in the workplace and steps to eliminate such barriers.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

ERGs or Employee Resource Groups are formal groups acknowledged by HHS and typically sponsored by HR. They focus on bringing broader awareness to the common interest and promoting the participants' career advancement with networking and mentoring opportunities.

Active ERGs:

  1. The YARD (HBCU Alumni Resource Group) ERG
  2. P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting Respect, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity ERG)
  3. Employee Resource Group for People with Lived Experience (ERG-PLE)
  4. Veterans Resource Group (via HRSA)

Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups are informal gatherings organized by employees where individuals unite to reinforce similarities and network with one another. These gatherings are not arranged by HR or registered with HHS, though they may be recognized internally by an agency.

Active Groups:

  1. Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Affinity Group
  2. A.C.C.L.A.I.M Affinity Group: African American, Black, and African Diasporas Connecting and Collaborating to Lift and Affirm our Identity while Maximizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility within our workplace.
  3. Bible Study Club at 5600 Fishers Lane
  4. Caregivers to the Elderly Affinity Group
  5. Fatherhood Alliance Affinity Group
  6. Hispanic & Latino Affinity Group
  7. Parents of Children with Special Needs Affinity Group (PCSNAG)

SAMHSA requires all employees to take a mandatory annual DEIA training designated each January. Each employee must meet the following standard as outlined in PMAPs:

“Promotes Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) as a priority in all aspects including within the workplace and, as applicable, agency programmatic and policy efforts, as demonstrated by substantive contributions and completion of learning and training on cultural competence and awareness of DEIA at SAMHSA.”

In addition to the mandatory DEIA training, the DEIA@SAMHSA team offers various optional training sessions and experiences throughout the year.

Contact Us

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5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Last Updated
Last Updated: 07/01/2024
Last Updated