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Biden can do more to enhance Black representation in key White House jobs: analysis

The percentage of Black people appointed to senior positions in President Joe Biden’s White House is not in line with the percentage of Black Americans who voted for him, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Twenty-two percent of Biden voters were Black, while 11 percent of his 139 most senior officials are Black, according to The Joint Center, a liberal-leaning think tank. Fourteen percent of Americans as a whole are Black, reports the U.S. Census Bureau.

“White House staff indicated that commissioned officers frequently convene with the president, influence his way of thinking, make recommendations, and advise him on important personnel decisions,” the think tank wrote of those in the highest statutory roles in the administration.

The commissioned officers, who were identified by the Joint Center using the presidential administration’s 2022 Annual Report to Congress on White House Office Personnel, include assistants, deputy assistants and special assistants to the president.

Black employees were most concentrated in the lower-level special assistant position, at 12 percent. They made up eight percent of Biden’s deputy assistants and nine percent of his assistants, the highest level position.

Susan Rice, the president’s domestic policy advisor, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, are the two Black special assistants.

Shuwanza Goff and Stacy Grigsby are the two Black deputy assistants from a total of 26, and there are 11 Black special assistants from a total of 91.

The Joint Center made a series of recommendations to ensure adequate representation of Black officials in the Biden administration’s top ranks.

The report called on the administration to make appointing Black officials a priority when commissioned officer positions open, release more data on the employees of government agencies and the president’s office, and frequently publish updated data on the demographics of senior officers and other federal employees.

Source: The Hill

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