Zina Daché Merritt is the Special Assistant to the Comptroller General of the United States for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). She has served in her current capacity since November 2017 and is responsible for providing expert senior advisory services that helps GAO promote an environment that is fair and unbiased, and that values diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Ms. Merritt led the effort to expand GAO’s mission core values of accountability, integrity and accountability to include people values—valued, respected, and treated fairly and ensured that these values were incorporated in executive expectations and agency policies and practices. She is responsible for overseeing the implementation of GAO’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Implementation Plan for 2019-2023. Moreover, Ms. Merritt has shared leading DE&I practices at forums and across federal agencies. These and other leading practices have contributed to GAO being ranked number one by the Partnership for Public Service for its support for diversity among mid-sized federal agencies for nine consecutive years.
Ms. Merritt has received several GAO-wide awards, including Distinguished Service, Meritorius Service, Community Service, Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion, and a two-time recipient of the John Henry Luke Mentoring Award. Ms. Merritt completed the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives National and International Security Program, and the Women and Power Program. She received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Tuskegee University and a M.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from Texas A&M University-Central TX.