Hill Diversity


Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff

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 employment in April 2015.

The report was written by James R. Jones.

Key findings:

  •  People of color make up over 36 percent of the U.S. population, but only 7.1 percent of top Senate staffers.
  •  Latinos make up over 16 percent of the U.S. population, but only 2.1 percent of top Senate staffers.
  •  African-Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but only 0.9 percent of top Senate staffers.
  •  Senate offices representing states with large Hispanic and African-American populations hire few senior staffers of color.
  • While those who self-identified as Democrats nationwide were 22 percent African-American and 13 percent Latino, top Democratic U.S. Senate staff as a group is 0.7 percent African-American and 2.0 percent Latino.
  •  Senators should take several steps to increase diversity.

For coverage of the report see The Washington Post, AL DÍA News (CHCI Int. CEO Cristina Antelo), The Associated PressThe Atlantic, The Daily BeastThe Hill (CBCF President Shuanise Washington), Huffington Post (CHCI Int. CEO Cristina Antelo), Los Angeles SentinelAfro News, CBC Chief of Staff Troy Clair, and The Network Journal.

Hashtag:  #SenateStaffDiversity

For all press inquiries, contact press@jointcenter.org.


About Joint Center

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1970 and based in Washington, DC. The Joint Center's mission is to inform and illuminate the nation's major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination in order to improve the socioeconomic status of Black communities in the United States; expand their effective participation in the political and public policy arenas; and promote communication and relationships across racial and ethnic lines to strengthen the nation's pluralistic society.