Doug Jones to become only Dem senator with black chief of staff
Sen.-elect Doug Jones (Ala.) announced on Tuesday that he has hired Dana Gresham as his chief of staff, which will make him the only Democratic senator to have an African-American in that position.
Gresham, a Birmingham native, has served in leadership roles in presidential administrations and for members of Congress. He led the legislative affairs office at the Department of Transportation during all eight years of the Obama administration and has also worked on Capitol Hill for 14 years.
GOP Sens. Tim Scott (S.C.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) also have black chiefs of staff.
According to a 2016 report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, only 5 percent of nearly 3,600 Senate staffers are black.
Jones, who is replacing Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will be sworn in using a family Bible during a ceremony scheduled for Wednesday in Washington.
He is the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Alabama in 25 years.
Jones also announced three other senior staff hires Tuesday, including Mark Libell as legislative director, Ann Berry as transition adviser and Katie Campbell as deputy legislative director. All three are Alabama natives and have extensive experience working for senators and and House members.
“Today I’m proud to announce that we have recruited four outstanding individuals to join our team,” Jones said in a statement. “Each of them possess long and impressive careers in public service, and as Alabama natives, share my commitment to the people of our state.”