OMB Guidance Is Major Milestone in Advancing Equitable, Civil Rights Informed Future for AI

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTON — Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its final guidance memo on agency implementation of the AI executive order: 

“We must ensure that technology serves us rather than harms us — and that it advances our democracy rather than disrupts it. Today, the OMB’s guidance takes us one step further down the path of facing a technology rich future that begins to address its harms. The guidance puts rights-protecting principles of the White House’s historic AI Bill of Rights into practice across agencies, and it is an important step in advancing civil rights protections in AI deployment at federal agencies. It extends existing civil rights protections, helping to bring them into the era of AI.

“We have called on the administration to ensure that tech policies take into account the impact on real people, from housing to employment to our criminal-legal system. There must be guardrails to ensure that AI technology is safe, trustworthy, and effective before it is put to use. We are pleased to see priorities from the civil rights community reflected in the guidance, which will provide an important layer of protection for the deployment of AI and emerging technologies across the federal government. The OMB guidance is also consistent with the AI principles adopted by industry and serves as a mechanism to ensure federal agencies do their part in holding the industry more accountable in the procurement process. There is no progress in technologies that harm. True innovation requires managing risk, which federal agencies are now called upon to do more clearly.

“The civil rights community will work with and monitor agencies’ implementation of the AI executive order as detailed in the guidance. We will also be working with Congress to pass rights-informed legislation that will provide strong guardrails for commercial uses to ensure that integration of AI technology is a social good and not a civil rights wrong. We only maintain our position as a world leader in technology by adhering to our democratic values in the design, development, and deployment of technology. We look forward to shaping policy that protects and expands the civil rights and fundamental freedoms of every person across our country.

Last year, The Leadership Conference Education Fund launched a first of its kind research and advocacy hub, The Center for Civil Rights and Technology, which will bring together civil society, policymakers, and the tech sector to advance understanding of opportunities and challenges from the proliferation of AI and emerging technologies. Recent work from The Center is included here:

  • The Leadership Conference submitted comments to OMB responding to the proposed guidance for AI implementation. 
  • In the fall of 2023, The Leadership Conference sent a letter to the White House calling for the inclusion of civil rights measures in the AI executive order. 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit