Native American - About


EDI strives to advance diversity and inclusion at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ensure that the civil rights of all employees are protected. The Native American Employment Portfolio is directed at ensuring that this constituency remains a successful part of a broader diversity and inclusion strategy for NIH. This portfolio is federally mandated, having its authority grounded in Presidential Executive Orders.

Programs are designed by the SEPS in order to provide cultural awareness to our customers 365 days of the year. The goals of the Native American Employment Portfolio are to:

  • provide advancement opportunities and improve employment for Native American employees in the Federal service;
  • seek ways to help Native American employees to advance by using their skills more fully;
  • identify systemic causes of discrimination against Native American employees;
  • monitor Agency progress in eliminating discrimination and reducing the adverse impact on Native American employees in employment and Agency programs;
  • educate federal employees and managers about the extent of various forms of discrimination within Federal Service;
  • build pipelines with tribal colleges and universities;
  • maintain an active presence in Native American communities; and
  • improve the retention rate for Native American employees.

EDI works in partnership with the Office of Human Resources (OHR), the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD), and NIH leadership to support the Native American Employment Portfolio. Together, we develop collaborations to advance the representation of our Native American employees in all occupations of the NIH workforce and to support this constituency in achieving their fullest potential.

At NIH we understand that our responsibility to diverse groups extends well beyond federal mandates. We define diversity broadly to include all elements of our human identities and encompass every aspect of difference. Within EDI, we are interested in leveraging the ideas of each NIH employee to fuel innovation and drive health discovery. The Native American constituency is a critical piece of our overall diversity strategy.


David Rice

David Rice, Acting Strategist

David Rice graduated in 2009 from Catholic University of America with a degree in Psychology, with a focus on social stigmas of people with Intellectual Disabilities. He has been at National Institutes of Health (NIH) since October 2009, as a Management Analyst for the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD). Being Deaf since the age of 4, he has a strong interest in Disability Community. His work within the disability community started as a sophomore in high school, where he worked summer camps for children with intellectual and physical disabilities. While in college he was part of the first American Sign Language (ASL) program, where students live a dorm in which hearing and Deaf students shared their desire to learn ASL. He was also active in outreach for people with disabilities at Catholic University.

David served on DIG (Deaf in Government), where he served as a policy chairperson and as the president of the organization. DIG empowers Deaf and Hard of Hearing Federal Employees to overcome communication barriers, resolve accessibility issues, and promotes a fully inclusive work environment through networking and fostering professional growth. Some of David's accomplishments are initiating a workforce complaint program, developing a training program that fosters promotion in the federal government, establishing partnerships with different organizations, and creating networking and mentoring opportunities.

David has also changed the cultural stigma placed on people with disabilities have by changing the NIH mission statement. He led the DeafNIH Employee Resource Group at NIH for those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, by working closely with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). David was also a part of Section 508 Advisory group whose mission is to make the internet a fully accessible environment; with his focus being on closed captions. In his spare time, David enjoys Baseball and all things Pittsburgh.

> Contact David


The Committee addresses issues concerning employees by educating managers and supervisors on their responsibilities regarding Native American culture, values, and traditions. In addition, the committee utilizes Native American employees and allies to speak with their own communities and ICs. Please contact me if you are interested in serving on the committee. We need champions who are willing to help establish cooperative relationships with both internal and external organizations in order to help recruit and employ qualified Native American employees. Committee members help coordinate with the Strategist on program activities, and assist in identifying mission areas, and Agency diversity, inclusion, and civil rights concerns.