Hill Diversity

The Joint Center’s Hill diversity work analyzes staff diversity on the Hill and applauds Members of Congress with diverse staffers.

To understand the problem, why it matters, and solutions, click here.

To see our research and activities on Hill staff diversity, click here.

Tracker of Diversity of Top Staff Hires by New Members in the 117th Congress (2021-2022)

Report Card of Diversity of Top Staff Hires by New Members in the 117th Congress (2021-2022)

By Joint Center | December 16, 2020

The Joint Center’s August report found that people of color account for 40 percent of the U.S. population, but only 11 percent of U.S. Senate office top staff (chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors). An earlier report found that people of color account for 38 percent of the U.S. population in 2018, but…

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Reports

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff in Senate Personal Offices

By Dr. LaShonda Brenson | August 21, 2020

Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released Racial Diversity Among Top Staff in Senate Personal Offices. This report provides evidence regarding the lack of racial diversity among U.S. Senate personal office top staff positions. This report defines personal office top staff as all chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors in…

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Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of Congressional Delegations of Six States

By Joint Center | November 15, 2018

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today released detailed reports on the troubling lack of racial diversity among the 167 top staff in the Washington, DC offices of six congressional delegations – Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today released detailed reports on the…

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Racial Diversity Among Top House Staff

By Joint Center | August 24, 2018

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…

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Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff

By Joint Center | December 15, 2015

Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff. The report is critical to understanding diversity among top staff in the U.S. Senate, including chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors in Washington, DC personal offices of U.S. Senators, as well as staff directors assigned to committees. Data reflect Senate…

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Data Briefs

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Digging Deeper: 2020 Senate Democratic Caucus Diversity Numbers

July 8, 2020

On July 8, 2020, the Senate Democratic Caucus released an update of the demographic data (find 2020 numbers here) on the staff of Democratic Senators (find 2019 numbers here). The analysis below ranks the offices on their total diversity in the following categories:   Top Three Racially Diverse Staff in…

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House-Wide Compensation and Diversity Study Shows African Americans and Latinos are Underrepresented Among Key Roles in Committee and Leadership Offices

October 4, 2019

On September 26, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives released results from its study on diversity and compensation. The study is based on findings from a web-based survey on compensation, benefits, and demographics sent to all 10,356 House staff across all Member offices, committee offices, leadership offices, and House officer…

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House-Wide Compensation and Diversity Study Shows African Americans and Latinos are Underrepresented Among Key Roles in the U.S. House

September 27, 2019

On September 26, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives released results from its study on diversity and compensation. The study is based on findings from a web-based survey on compensation, benefits, and demographics sent to all 10,356 House staff across all Member offices, committee offices, leadership offices, and House officer offices. Of…

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Senate Staff Diversity Among Democratic Presidential Candidates

July 11, 2019

On July 11, 2019, the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus released diversity data on the U.S. Senate personal and committee office staff of each of their Members. This analysis examines data of the staff in the personal offices of the seven U.S. Senators running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination: Bennet…

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Digging Deeper: 2019 Senate Democratic Caucus Diversity Numbers

July 10, 2019

On July 10, 2019, the Senate Democratic Caucus released an update of their demographic data (PDF here) on their staff (their 2018 numbers are here). The analysis below ranks the offices on their total diversity in the following categories: Top Three Racially Diverse Personal Offices 1. Senator Harris (CA)—70% 2. Senator…

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Digging Deeper: 2018 Senate Democratic Caucus Diversity Numbers

July 19, 2018

On July 16, 2018, the Senate Democratic Caucus released an update of demographic data on their staffs (their 2017 numbers are here). Our press release analyzed those offices with the greatest and least diversity among mid-level and top staff that represent states with diverse populations. The analysis below ranks the offices on their total diversity…

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Events

Obtaining a Presidential Appointment with Reps. Horsford, Underwood, and Allred

December 4, 2020

Watch Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV), Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL), and Congressman Colin Allred (D-TX) discuss obtaining a presidential appointment in the video below. This video is a collaboration of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Joint Center & the Black Talent Initiative. Author Joint Center

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Joint Center Honors Black Chiefs of Staff During CBC Week

September 16, 2019

On September 12, the Joint Center and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law co-hosted a reception to honor Black chiefs of staff on the Hill. Joint Center President Spencer Overton and Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke gave remarks ahead of the dinner reception. It was an…

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Media

Joint Center Op-Ed: After Georgia, Senators Must Prioritize Staff Diversity

January 15, 2021

Sources: CNN, NYT, Cook & Joint Center.* After Black voters in Georgia enabled Democrats to control the Senate, Morning Consult published this commentary by Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson and Joint Center President Spencer Overton calling for the Senate to take key steps to…

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Joint Center Joins WURD Radio to Discuss The Importance of Black Top Staff in Congress

December 9, 2020

Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson appeared on WURD Radio’s Reality Check to discuss the importance of congressional staff diversity. “If you think about Congress, a lot of the work that’s being done is usually being handled by top staffers,” said LaShonda referencing chiefs of…

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Marketplace Interviews Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion on Congressional Staff Diversity

December 7, 2020

Joint Center Senior Fellow, Diversity and Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson joined NPR’s Marketplace to discuss our efforts to increase congressional staff diversity. During the interview, LaShonda shared that when she interned for a Member of Congress in 2009, she didn’t see many people who looked like her. She also noted…

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Joint Center Pens Op-Ed Urging Incoming Members of Congress to ‘Fix Capitol Hill’s Diversity Problem’

November 30, 2020

Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson penned an op-ed in The Hill calling for new and returning Members of Congress—especially Members who represent diverse districts—to hire diverse staffs. In the op-ed, she writes “From police killings of Black Americans to a COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately claimed the jobs and lives of Black and Brown…

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New York Times Covers Joint Center’s 2020 Report ‘Racial Diversity Among Top Staff in Senate Personal Offices’

August 21, 2020

The Joint Center’s report, Racial Diversity Among Top Staff in Senate Personal Offices, was covered in The New York Times. “If there were more diverse staff that could speak to senators about potential blind spots that may occur in the legislation, I think the legislation would be more responsive to…

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Joint Center Pens Op-Ed On The Next Steps Congress Needs to Take to Address The Lack of Staff Diversity on The Hill

October 31, 2019

Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson wrote an op-ed for The Hill on the next steps that Congress needs to take in order to address the lack of staff diversity on The Hill. Earlier this year, LaShonda analyzed the Senate Democratic Caucus demographic data and the House Compensation and…

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Joint Center President Appears on Comcast Newsmakers

February 14, 2019

Joint Center President Spencer Overton appeared on Comcast Newsmakers to discuss congressional staff diversity. During the interview, Spencer noted that the lack of diversity among top staff “is problematic because we need Congress and the staff to reflect the United States as a whole.” He also points out that nepotism and unpaid internships as…

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Marketplace Interviews Joint Center President on Congressional Staff Diversity

December 28, 2018

Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined Marketplace to discuss our efforts to increase congressional staff diversity. During the interview, Spencer emphasized the importance of feeder positions and why the Joint Center is focused on top staffers in the wake of infrastructure and data privacy issues. Listen to Spencer’s interview below.…

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In CNN Op-Ed, the Joint Center Presses Congress to Address Top Staff Diversity

November 30, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 30, 2018 Contact: press@jointcenter.org In CNN Op-Ed, the Joint Center Presses Congress to Address Top Staff Diversity WASHINGTON – In a CNN op-ed, Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, highlighted the alarming lack of top staff diversity at the top level…

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Joint Center President Writes Washington Post Op-Ed on House Diversity Report

October 16, 2018

Joint Center President, Spencer Overton, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post calling on Congress to address the lack of racial diversity among top staff in the U.S. House of Representatives. The piece highlights troubling statistics concluded in our study, Racial Diversity Top U.S. House Staff: “An astounding 86 percent…

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Joint Center President Speaks on MSNBC Regarding Recent Report on Racial Diversity Among Top House Staff

September 26, 2018

On September 23, 2018, Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton to discuss the recently released Joint Center report on top staff diversity among U.S. House staff. On September 23, 2018, Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton to discuss the recently released Joint…

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Press Statements

Senator Jon Ossoff & Legislative Director Donni Turner

Joint Center Commends Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) for Hiring Donni Turner as Legislative Director

By Joint Center | March 8, 2021

Turner is One of Only Five Black Senate Legislative Directors Sen. Ossoff’s Recent Hire Increased Black Senate Democratic Top Staff by 11.1 PercentWASHINGTON — Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commends U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) for hiring Donni Turner (pictured right) as legislative director in his personal office. Turner is one of five current…

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Joint Center Commends U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen for Hiring Teri Weathers as Deputy Chief of Staff

By Joint Center | January 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commends U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) for hiring Teri Weathers as deputy chief of staff in his personal office. Weathers will be the number two for the Senator’s personal office and will partner with Senator Van Hollen’s chief of staff to oversee and manage all…

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Joint Center Commends Sen. Raphael Warnock for Leading on Diversity in Top Staff

By Joint Center | January 26, 2021

The Joint Center Commends Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock for Hiring Joshua Delaney as Legislative Director and Michael J. Brewer as Communications Director Delaney is One of Only Four Black Senate Legislative Directors Brewer is One of Only Two Black Senate Communications Directors Warnock’s Two Hires Increase Black Senate Dem. Top Staff to 29% WASHINGTON —…

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Almost Two-Thirds of Top Staff Positions Are Filled & New Members Lag in Top Staff of Color

By Joint Center | January 13, 2021

The Joint Center released the following press release giving an update on top staff diversity among new Members of Congress.   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 13, 2021 Contact: press@jointcenter.org   WASHINGTON – Almost two-thirds of the top staff positions of newly-elected U.S. House and Senate Members have been filled. While freshmen Members have hired top staff…

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Joint Center Commends U.S. Senator Mark Warner for Hiring Lauren Marshall as Legislative Director

By Joint Center | January 11, 2021

  Marshall is One of Only Three Black Senate Legislative Directors   WASHINGTON — Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commends U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) for promoting Lauren Marshall to legislative director in his personal office. Marshall is one of three current Black legislative directors in the U.S. Senate. Jasmine Dimitriou…

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Joint Center Launches Interactive Tool Showing Diversity of Top Staff of New Members of Congress

By Joint Center | December 22, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 21, 2020 Contact: press@jointcenter.org Joint Center Launches Interactive Tool Showing Diversity of Top Staff of New Members of Congress So Far, Newly-Elected House Members Hiring Fewer Top Staff of Color Than Two Years Ago     WASHINGTON – The Joint Center launched its interactive tracking tool allowing users to learn how each new…

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Joint Center Organizes Letter With Over 70 Civil Rights Groups Urging New Members of Congress to Hire Diverse Staff

By Joint Center | November 24, 2020

The Joint Center organized two letters signed by over 70 civil rights groups addressed to new Members of Congress urging them to hire racially diverse people in their personal office top and key mid-level staff positions. In the letters, one addressed to incoming House Members and the other addressed to incoming Senators, we recommended to:…

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Joint Center Commends Senate Democrats for Releasing 2020 Staff Diversity Data, Urges More Detailed Disclosure 

By Joint Center | July 8, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 8, 2020 Contact: press@jointcenter.org WASHINGTON — The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commends Senate Democrats for releasing their fourth annual survey on racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation diversity of their staff. To date, Senate Republican offices have not released staff demographic data. Later today, Joint Center Diversity &…

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Joint Center Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Tool to Track Diversity of Top Staff Hired by Newly-Elected Members of Congress

By Joint Center | December 14, 2018

The Joint Center released the following press release on its new tool to track newly-hired top staff in Congress. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 14, 2018 Contact: press@jointcenter.org Joint Center Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Tool to Track Diversity of Top Staff Hired by Newly-Elected Members of Congress WASHINGTON – Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies…

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More Than 60 National Civil Rights Organizations and Stakeholders Call on Congress to Seize Opportunity to Diversify Top Staff

By Joint Center | December 3, 2018

The Joint Center signed a letter with over 60 national organizations and stakeholders asking Congress to prioritize diversity on the Hill among their top staffers. Author Joint Center

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Joint Center Sent Letters to Several Senators-Elect to Address Diversity Among Their Top Staff

By Joint Center | November 30, 2018

The Joint Center sent letters to Senators-Elect: Jacky Rosen (D-NC), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) urging them to hire diverse top staff and key mid-level staff as they build their offices. Click for Senator-Elect Jacky Rosen’s letter here. Click for Senator-Elect Krysten Sinema’s letter here. Click for Senator-Elect Cindy Hyde-Smith’s…

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Joint Center Shares Top Staff Diversity Reports With 100 Newly-Elected Members

By Joint Center | November 27, 2018

On November 27, the Joint Center sent each of the 100 newly-elected Members of Congress all of our reports on congressional staff diversity. The e-mail correspondence from the Joint Center’s Senior Advisor, Lauren Williams, can be found below: Good afternoon, I hope this email finds you well. My name is Lauren Williams and I am…

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Joint Center Sends Ranking Members a Letter Urging Them to Prioritize Diversity

By Joint Center | November 9, 2018

On November 9, the Joint Center sent twenty-two letters to Ranking Members: Elijah Cummings, Peter DeFazio, Ted Deutch, Eliot Engel, Raúl Grijalva, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Jim McGovern, Jerrold Nadler, Richard Neal, Frank Pallone, Collin Peterson, Adam Schiff, Bobby Scott, Adam Smith, Mark Takano, Bennie Thompson, Nydia Velázquez, Maxine Waters,…

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