Hill Diversity

Joint Center Commends Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) for Leading on Diversity in Top Staff

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 — Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commends U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) for hiring Joshua Delaney (pictured left) as legislative director and Michael J. Brewer (pictured right) as communications director in his personal office.

Delaney is one of four current Black legislative directors in the U.S. Senate. Jasmine Dimitriou (Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)), Ariel Marshall (Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)), and Lauren Marshall (Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)) are the other three. Brewer is one of two current Black communications directors in the U.S. Senate alongside Trudy Perkins (Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)).

Prior to Delaney’s new position as legislative director, he served in various roles for Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), including Legislative Fellow (Sep. 2014-Aug. 2015), Legislative Assistant (Aug. 2015-July 2016), Education Policy Adviser (July 2016-2017), Senior Adviser, Education Policy (2017-2020), and Deputy Legislative Director (Oct. 2020-Jan. 2021). He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Prior to Brewer’s new position as communications director, he served in various roles for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), including Deputy Press Secretary (May 2017-Feb. 2019), Press Secretary (March 2019-May 2019), and Senior Press Secretary (May 2019-Nov. 2020). He is a graduate of Morehouse College.

“Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock shows exceptional leadership in the U.S. Senate by hiring Mr. Delaney and Mr. Brewer to these critical positions,” said Joint Center Senior Fellow of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. LaShonda Brenson. “Both Mr. Delaney and Mr. Brewer have impressive experiences that will strengthen Senator Warnock’s office, and their unique perspectives will unquestionably bring immense value to Georgians. By hiring Mr. Delaney and Mr. Brewer, Senator Warnock shows he’s committed to making sure his constituents are justly represented in Washington, DC. I hope other Senators follow his lead and recruit skilled Black individuals to top staff positions.”

“It is inspiring to see Senator Warnock’s leadership in prioritizing racial diversity and his commitment to an inclusive office that represents all Georgians after his historic win,” said Joint Center President Spencer Overton. “Senator Warnock has long provided visionary leadership on issues that are critical to the future of Black communities and to our nation as a whole—including leading a sit-in at the Georgia State Capitol to urge state legislators to expand Medicaid in the state. Less than a week after being sworn in, Senator Warnock is demonstrating his exemplary leadership among 99 other U.S. Senators from throughout the nation. Georgians should be proud.”

With the addition of Delaney and Brewer, African Americans will account for 2.6 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 (African Americans account for over 13 percent of the U.S. population). Of the nine Black top staff in the U.S. Senate, two work for Republicans and seven work for Democrats. African Americans make up about 20 percent of Democratic votes nationwide, and now 5.3 percent of Senate Democratic top staff (up from 4.1 percent with the addition of Delaney and Brewer).

We are still awaiting announcements about those who have been hired to serve as chief of staff, legislative director, and communications director for Jon Ossoff, who is also a newly-elected U.S. Senator from Georgia. Black Americans made up over 54 percent of the Georgia voters who cast ballots for Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff.

To understand the problem of a lack of Hill staff diversity, why it matters, and solutions, click here.

To see the Joint Center’s report card showing Senator Warnock leading all new Senators who have hired all three top staff positions, click here.

The Joint Center is also hosting an event on this issue on Thursday, January 28 at 4pm EST with Joint Center President Spencer Overton, Black Voters Matter Fund Co-Founder LaTosha Brown, and National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) National Correspondent Stacy Brown. Watch the livestream on NNPA’s YouTube channel, BlackPressUSA TV.