The SEC’s Atlanta and Fort Worth regional offices hosted a fireside chat with U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan to learn more about his background, his work at the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ), and his thoughts on topics relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“I’m from Northwest Tuscumbia, Alabama, and I played football at Samford University in Birmingham,” Buchanan noted. “I learned a lot from football: how to win, how to be a teammate, how to be hopeful and how to become a leader.” Now as a U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Buchanan is doing exactly that.
Buchanan joined the DOJ in 2010 as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Alabama. His path to public service was interesting he says. “I went to law school without the idea of the full scope of opportunities to lawyers,” he said. He liked the idea of helping people when they had been wronged and felt he could make an impact beyond his position.
Buchanan became the third African American to be politically appointed as a U.S. Attorney in Atlanta. He credits his grandfather, who was a sharecropper, for his motivation to do his job the best he can. When asked about community outreach, Buchanan said the number one goal of his office is advancing public safety. “You have to listen and engage with people to understand how to allocate our resources and understand sort of where our problem spots are,” he said. “A better understanding keeps people safe.”
On the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion, Buchanan explained that it is a daily aspect both within the DOJ and the communities it serves to protect. “You have to take facts from communities and learn from investigations,” he said. “Communicating effectively with your people within the community and having diverse voices and experiences is the best way to understand and connect with the community.”
Buchanan finished his remarks by giving tips and strategies on being more inclusive and diverse. He believes experiences are the best teacher and crucial to building a certain culture where you can speak out. “It’s being able to talk to colleagues and change their minds from the previous way,” Buchanan said. “We have to be allies and advocate for people. We won’t advance these initiatives until we have a good number of people who will be advocates for others.”
The virtual event promoted the agency’s continued commitment to foster diversity, equity and inclusion and was open to all SEC employees.
Modified: Sept. 8, 2022