Racial Diversity Among Top House Staff

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives

Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released Racial Diversity Among Top U.S. House Staff

The report examines racial diversity among top staff in Washington, DC offices of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Click on the following for:

         A 2-page summary

        The full 37-page report

        An appendix of additional data

 Key findings:

  • People of color make up 38% of the U.S. population, but only 13.7% of all top House staff.
  • Both White Democrats and White Republicans hire overwhelmingly White top staff, even though their districts are surprisingly diverse.
  • Latina/o Members represent districts that are much more Latino than their top staff.
  • There are no Latinas/os, AAPIs, or Native Americans who serve as full committee staff directors or leadership office chiefs of staff, policy directors, or communications directors.
  • Women account for almost 61% of Black top staffers, almost 45% of Latina/o tops staffers, and just over 31% of AAPI top staffers.

To increase diversity, House Members should: 

  • Develop a written office diversity plan.
  • Track and disclose staff demographic data.
  • Interview at least one candidate of color for each vacant senior position (the "Rooney Rule").
  • Recruit diverse interns and pay them.
  • Build a diverse pipeline of mid-level staff.
  • Obtain unconscious bias training for the Member and managerial staff.
  • Support bipartisan reforms that would require all Members of Congress to adopt these recommendations, and would appoint a congressional chief diversity officer. 
Hashtag:  #HouseStaffDiversity
Media coverage:
For all press inquiries, contact press@JointCenter.org