Trudy Perkins (Courtesy of Sen. Sherrod Brown's Personnel Office)
Trudy Perkins (Courtesy of Sen. Sherrod Brown's Personnel Office)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) recently hired Trudy Perkins as communications director in his personal office, making her the first Black communications director in the Senate since the August 2018 departure of D.J. Jordan.

The move was commended by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

“Senator Sherrod Brown’s ability to identify and successfully hire someone of Ms. Perkins’s caliber and expertise for this critical position demonstrates his leadership in the U.S. Senate,” said LaShonda Brenson, senior fellow of diversity and inclusion at the Joint Center. “I hope other senators follow his lead and recruit talented Black staff to top staff positions.”

With the addition of Perkins, African Americans account for 3.5 percent of the approximately 340 top Senate staffers who serve as chiefs of staff, legislative directors, communications directors or full committee staff directors.

The Democrats’ share of these top staffers has grown from just over 33 percent in 2015 (1 of 3) to almost 75 percent today (9 of 12). The Republicans’ share of these top staffers has decreased from 67 percent in 2015 (2 of 3) to 25 percent today (3 of 12).

Prior to her new position, Perkins served as communications specialist (2002-2003), communications director (2003-2005), and deputy chief of staff/communications director (2005-2020) for late Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Before coming to Capitol Hill, Perkins worked as a television news producer in Maryland and New York for five years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the State University of New York at Oswego and earned a Broadcast Journalism Certificate from The New School of Radio and Television in Albany, New York.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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