Senate Democrats’ Staff Reach Diversity Record This Year

Senate Democrats’ Staff Reach Diversity Record This Year

By:  Zach C Cohen
  • Data shows 41% of office staff identified as non-white
  • Highest percentage since Democrats began collecting data

Senate Democrats’ staff are more diverse than they have been at any time since Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took the reins of the caucus.

According to new data compiled by the caucus, 41% of senators’ personal staff and 34% of Democrats’ committee aides identified as non-white. Senate Democrats have released annual studies of their staff diversity since 2017.

Latinos made up the greatest portion of Democrats’ non-white office staff, while Asian or Pacific Islander staff made up the largest minority demographic in their committees.

“It’s encouraging to see Senate Democrats continue to show transparency in disclosing the percentage of top staff of color in their offices and the increase of staff diversity in 35 offices,” said LaShonda Brenson, senior fellow for diversity and inclusion at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Brenson in particular applauded Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who have hired staff that are more than two-thirds non-white.

Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Ore.) staff diversified the most since last year, according to a Joint Center analysis. The same analysis found the office of Sen. Ben Ray Luján
(D-N.M.) had the greatest loss of diversity.

“There is still room for growth for senators who have retained fewer people of color on their staff since last year, particularly the Senate committees,” Brenson said.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has the largest proportion of non-white staff — 88% — followed by the Judiciary panel at 58%, according to the caucus.

With assistance from Seemeen Hashem

To contact the reporter on this story: Zach C. Cohen in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at; Loren Duggan at