Joint Center Commends Sen. Laphonza Butler for Hiring Marvin B. Figueroa as Chief of Staff
“The Joint Center commends Sen. Butler for hiring Marvin B. Figueroa, who identifies as Afro-Latino, as her chief of staff. With this hire, Sen. Butler demonstrates her understanding of the importance of tapping diverse top talent to help her serve California’s diverse constituents. Senator Butler’s hire comes shortly after our recent Senate report that shows that between 2020 and 2023, the overall percentage of personal office top staff of color increased from 11.0 percent to 15.8 percent, but the percentage of Black top staff decreased,” said Dr. LaShonda Brenson, senior researcher who leads the Joint Center’s Hill Diversity research. “By hiring a highly qualified person of color in the top role in her Washington, DC personal office, Sen. Butler is centering inclusivity in decision making and diversity in policy debates.”
Figueroa most recently served as the director of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He previously served as deputy secretary of Health and Human Resources for Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) and as a senior advisor to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). The Joint Center looks forward to working with Figueroa in his new role.
With the addition of Figueroa, Black staff account for eight (or 2.4 percent) of the approximately 340 top Senate staffers in Washington, DC who serve as chiefs of staff, legislative directors, communications directors, or full committee staff directors (Black Americans account for over 13 percent of the U.S. population).
About the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. We are the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. We use evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.