Steve Diggs Candidate Statement

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Candidate for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice (EDIJ) Chair

Steve Diggs, candidate headshot
Steve Diggs

I would be honored to continue serving as the EDIJ Chair. Over the past decade, my involvement with ESIP has allowed me to serve in various elected positions. I was Vice President in 2018 and, most recently, Chair of our Data Stewardship Committee. My professional journey, which includes my current role as Research Data Specialist at the University of California Office of the President and a 30-year career at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has been dedicated to providing researchers with critical data.

I have a decades-long commitment to diversity and equity, with EDI leadership roles in various organizations, notably the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS). In 2021, I was a UCSD Leaders for Equity Advancement and Diversity (LEAD) Fellow, receiving extensive professional EDI training, which enhanced my ability to facilitate discussions and champion diversity initiatives within and between organizations. I was recently appointed to the inaugural Academic Affairs EDI Workgroup for UCOP, which reports directly to the University of California System Provost.

Since January 2024, when I became the EDIJ Committee Chair, I have led the group's transition to a Standing Administrative Committee. The Committee has recruited new members and established effective communication channels. These efforts have been in line with ESIP's 2023 Annual Report's focus on collaboration, professional development, and fostering a healthy, inclusive culture.

My vision for EDIJ is not just a personal goal, but a strategic direction that reflects the needs and aspirations of the ESIP community. It aligns with ESIP's 2021-2026 Strategic Themes, with a focus on fostering a connected, collaborative community, championing inclusivity and equity, and driving innovation through diverse perspectives. These pillars are essential for our community's continued growth and success.

Realistically, we are currently facing a period of decreased enthusiasm for EDIJ initiatives, many of which were launched in 2020. In response, I propose a strategic and pragmatic shift to reinforce the tangible benefits of EDI by integrating these values into our recruitment, evaluation, and strategic planning processes.

If elected, I would greatly enjoy the chance to help bring our nascent EDIJ initiatives to fruition!