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U.S. Department of Commerce Appoints First Counselor for Equity

The Department of Commerce recently appointed Ines Hernandez as the first-ever Counselor for Equity. In this newly created role, Hernandez will work across the Department’s 13 bureaus to institutionalize equity across all workstreams and advise senior leadership on policy design and implementation strategies that help advance the equity agenda within the Department’s programs and strategic initiatives.

As the new Counselor, Hernandez will work in close collaboration with the DOC Equity (DEIA) Council co-chaired by Deputy Secretary Don Graves and Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Diane Farrell. Established in November 2021, the DOC Equity (DEIA) Council provides cross-bureau coordination, policy development, and administrative support for initiatives that: institutionalize equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility across the Department’s programs and operations; support bureaus in creating a positive internal culture and raise program officials’ consciousness of systemic barriers.

“I am honored to have been selected as the first Counselor for Equity by the U.S. Department of Commerce and look forward to guiding federal resources to communities nationwide so that we can grow an economy that works for everyone,” said Ines Hernandez,  “My years of experience working to bring financial inclusion and economic empowerment to culturally diverse communities will guide me as I continue to advocate for economic mobility at the national level.”

Hernandez most recently served as a trusted counselor for StartUP FIU, Florida International University’s dedicated innovation hub, where she advised the unit’s economic development program and put innovative frameworks in place to ensure the organization’s reach extended to all South Florida communities.

Hernandez has over 20 years of experience building cross-sector consensus that led to community and economic development solutions, new policies, and action with demonstrable results. She has extensive experience navigating intersecting issues, including financial inclusion, small business development, workforce development, affordable housing, climate policy, public health, and equity.

The Department of Commerce supports Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) at all stages of the employee life cycle.  The Department is committed to ensuring its work results in broadly shared benefits for employees and leaders as well as customers and stakeholders. By amplifying and sustaining efforts to build a diverse, world-class workforce and an equitable, inclusive, accessible, and safe workplace, the Department of Commerce will continue to be a leading employer of choice.  For more information visit www.commerce.gov/equity