Working across communities, this group supports and encourages learning, methods and tactics to advance DEI in Congressional offices and internal administrative operations in the Capitol. In the workplace, technical expertise support may include developing a customized DEI framework with goals and metrics, training modules for staff and communication strategies that center DEI.



The Brain Trust for a Representative Democracy is made up of practitioners and experts in diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging (DEIB). These individuals bring a range of experience and knowledge on the latest theory, practical tactics, insight in how to train and change behavior, and a keen understanding of how Congress and other public institutions works. With a shared commitment to bringing DEIB practices to our systems of governance, they support the mission of the Representative Democracy cohort and offer thought leadership and tools that lay the foundation for DEIB in the workplace.

The Brain Trust includes the following individuals:

Linda Akutagawa
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics

Katherine Archuleta
Dimension Strategies

Rebecca Cokley
Center for American Progress

Maribel Duran
Leadership and DEIB Advisor

Wendy Helgemo
Big Fire Law and Policy Group

Michelle L. Maldonado

Laura Maristany
Democracy Fund

Jocelyn McDaniel

Maria Robles Meier

We Are The People

Rachel Peric

Welcoming America

Dr. Mischa Thompson

Subject Matter Expert

Lise Woods Fink

Democracy Fund

Mark Sobol

Longwave Partners


Building and Maintaining a Diverse and Inclusive Congressional Office

Representative government is a founding ideal of American democracy, and no other institution has a greater responsibility to uphold this standard than the U.S. Congress. As a representative body, Congress can more effectively carry out its constitutional responsibility to legislate when it looks like the communities it represents. From interns to elected representatives, “We the People” — all voices, backgrounds, and experiences — belong in Congress. This guide provides you — congressional staff with hiring and other HR responsibilities — with resources and information to help create a Congress where we are all represented.