Dr. LaShonda Brenson, Joint Center senior researcher, was a featured panelist in the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University’s Annual Paul O’Dwyer Endowed event, “Making Representation Meaningful: Staff Diversity in the U.S. Senate.”
Other panelists included Former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA); Don Cravins, Graduate School of Policy Management (GSPM) Anthony Coelho Professor, former chief of staff to Senator Mary Landrieu, and COO at the National Urban League; and Dana Gresham, GSPM fellow and former chief of staff to Senator Doug Jones and principal at Mindset.
The discussion emphasized strategies and tactics for improving diversity among staffers on Capitol Hill. In this conversation, Dr. Brenson stated “what our work really shows is the importance of data and measuring a problem. I think we can’t fix problems that we don’t really have concrete data and answers to. The U.S. Congress requires a lot of federal agencies and companies to collect data on demographics, but they themselves don’t have any accountability … [regarding the] lack of diversity, especially in senior positions. That’s what we try to expose and provide transparency around … through our work.”
View the conversation below.