Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

AIR’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) are essential to our mission and pivotal to our strategic goals. Staff members at every level in AIR are engaged in intentional and comprehensive efforts to integrate the principles and practices of DEI and CLC into every facet of their work. We constantly assess where we are as an organization, we set goals and benchmarks, and we create opportunities to share and course-correct as necessary to drive our improvement and progress.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Philosophy

Learn about how AIR's Equity Initiative invests in institutional and individual capacity to build diverse and inclusive ways to generate and use evidence about equity.

AIR is proud of its tradition of maintaining a work environment that values DEI and promotes respect for the dignity of all individuals. This commitment is exemplified by the engagement of diverse board members, senior leadership, and staff in related strategies and activities. At AIR, we define diversity broadly, considering everyone’s unique life and community experiences. We believe that embracing diverse perspectives, abilities, racial/ethnic and cultural backgrounds, styles, ages, genders, gender identities and expressions, education backgrounds, and life stories drives innovation and employee engagement.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy

We have adopted a DEI strategy that is based on four pillars. These pillars are fully integrated and operationalized in our broader organizational strategy, our approaches to research and evaluation, and our delivery of training and technical assistance.

  1. Workforce and Work Environment, in which we maximize our human capital and create an affirming and inclusive work environment by maximizing opportunities for each employee to engage in all facets of organizational life; enhancing staff members’ DEI awareness and skills; recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse workforce with an emphasis on underrepresented groups; embedding DEI skills in staff development goals; and creating incentives to achieve those goals.
  2. As part of the second pillar of our DEI strategy, we established the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards for Projects, Research, and Operations (CLAS PRO). These standards inform and facilitate the operationalization of CLC into our work to ensure our processes, methods, tools, and products are culturally and linguistically appropriate. The overall goal is to measurably apply these standards, principles, and practices in our programmatic activities, research endeavors, and operations.
    Cultural Competence, in which we deliver research and technical assistance that reflect an understanding of and commitment to cultural competence. We establish a shared understanding of cultural competence, leverage staff members’ expertise in DEI to integrate CLC in all parts of our work, secure resources that support the development of CLC across our workforce, and promote the use of those resources.
  3. Aligning Our Work and Organizational Identity and Reputation by leading the field through rigorous, relevant research on topics related to DEI. We develop DEI work that builds on our existing expertise in inequalities related to educational opportunities, health disparities across races/ethnicities, socioeconomic status, disability status, and age.
  4. Sustainability and Growth, as we strive to surpass the expectations of clients and partners for a diverse and inclusive workforce. We intentionally focus on enhancing the diversity of partnerships and business relationships; increase visibility in markets that support underrepresented populations; and monitor and ensure full compliance with the statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements that govern our work.

Annual AIR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Annual Report (PDF) reflects many of the foundation building strides AIR has made, including employee-driven activities that are now embedded in our culture. As an organization, AIR is attempting to infuse Diversity & Inclusion into everything we do.

The purpose of this report is to:

  • Increase awareness about AIR’s investment and efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Increase understanding about AIR’s approach and strategy
  • Share information about selected metrics
  • Recognize the contributions of members on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and in AIR’s Employee Resource Groups

large group of AIR staff at outdoor event

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Staff members come together to promote cultural awareness, professional development, collegial support, and greater visibility for diversity at AIR. View our current ERGs.

Read more about how ERGs provide AIR staff with opportunities for social support, knowledge sharing, exposure, and visibility: Internal Connection, External Benefit: Employee Resource Groups Imbue AIR Projects with Diverse Perspectives.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

The Council is responsible for shaping the direction and strategies for AIR's diversity goals and includes representatives from across the organization. Learn more about the AIR Diversity, Equity, and and Inclusion Council and its important work in Diversity in Action Magazine.

Karen Francis

Council Chair

Karen B. Francis
Vice President and
Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer


Young Yee Kim

Council Vice Chair

Young Yee Kim
Principal Psychometrician/



DEI in the News

As an organization, we are committed to meeting federal and state regulatory mandates and to ensuring nondiscrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, religion or creed.

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