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Opening Remarks, National Transportation Safety Board 5th Annual Diversity Day Celebration, Washington, DC
T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH
Washington, DC

It is a great pleasure to join in this celebration of Diversity Day here at the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB is dedicated to improving safety in all modes of transportation. As problem solvers, innovation and creativity are part of the NTSB’s culture, and for these qualities to flourish, we must tap into the agency’s rich blend of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and cultures. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring different perspectives to collaboration, continuous improvement, innovation and management, which make our teams stronger and more effective.

The goal of the New Diversity IQ is to learn how to foster an inclusive environment that respects these differences and encourages collaboration for full mission success. In today’s event we will recognize the value of our varied heritages, experiences and backgrounds going forward.  There is so much we can learn from one another – which makes our agency stronger but is also part of the joy of working with our colleagues.   As some of you may know, I am the first Asian American to serve as a Board Member here at the NTSB, but what you may not know is that my family itself is an example of diversity.   I was born in Vietnam and grew up in Texas, but have family members of Asian, African American, European, and Middle Eastern heritage – and my husband and I both lived in Latin America and our 6 year old speaks Spanish. My family is also a mix of diverse religions, spiritual and political beliefs. I am proud – as I know all of you are - to be a part of an agency and a government, and indeed a country, where everyone’s diverse background is acknowledged and everyone’s unique contributions are valued.

Looking ahead, we can recognize even greater benefits by taking full advantage of all the perspectives within our workplace today and by ensuring that we realize the greatest possible breadth of perspectives from future generations of employees.

On behalf of our Chairman, the first African American Chairman in NTSB history, the other Board Members, and the entire management team, I wish you an educational and enlightening Diversity Day Celebration.