November 3, 2021
Remarks by AIT Deputy Director Jeremy Cornforth at the Opening of
Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Tech Industry Forum
American Innovation Center
November 3, 2021
Good afternoon, I am AIT’s Deputy Director Jeremy Cornforth. Welcome to the American Innovation Center (AIC) and welcome to those of you joining us virtually on Gather Town. I’m glad that we have all come together today to discuss a topic that is very important to all of us at AIT.
On his inauguration day, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985, highlighting his administration’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility – or “DEIA.” As the Executive Order proudly declared, “Equal opportunity is the bedrock of American democracy, and our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths.”
Promoting DEIA is essential to both our domestic priorities and foreign policy goals, allowing the United States to lead by example in advancing democracy, prosperity, and equality. In the Executive Order, President Biden added, “Our country faces converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism. Our Nation deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and challenges that we face.”
As the chair of AIT’s DEIA Council, I have joined with my colleagues in a commitment to attract, reward, and retain a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. Like the tech community, we have struggled to achieve this goal in the past but we continue to evolve our practices to grow and improve. Within the walls of AIT we take DEIA very seriously so that we can attract the full range of talent, give everyone a fair chance to succeed and develop their skills, and recognize all those who achieve.
This is my first visit to the American Innovation Center, and I’m absolutely impressed. The AIC, one of six American Spaces here in Taiwan, focuses on four major themes – innovation, entrepreneurship, digitalization, and culture and design. All of those themes have a nexus to DEIA, and we plan to have more of these conversations over the coming year.
We’re glad to be collaborating with the Talent Circulation Alliance (TCA) on this forum. TCA is an important platform for AIT, Taiwan’s government, and private sector partners to promote the circulation of talent between Taiwan and the United States. TCA’s work is essential for enabling cross-pollination, not only in labor and talent exchange, but also in the circulation of best practices, like model DEIA hiring policies.
I would like to thank Aver for providing their advanced tech in support of this event, and as always, thanks to our AIC hosting partner, the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park for this beautiful venue and constant support!
Finally, thank you to all the panelists and participants in today’s forum. I wish you success and look forward to hearing about the results of your conversations.