U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Dec. 27, 2018

Senator Warren Announces New Staff Leadership for the 116th Congress

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today announced that Anne Reid has been named Chief of Staff and Nikko Mendoza will return as State Director for the 116th Congress. Anne currently serves as Senior Advisor to Senator Warren. Prior to joining Senator Warren's staff, she was Chief Strategy Officer at Vision To Learn, a non-profit organization that brings free eye exams and glasses to children in low-income communities.  Anne previously served as Counselor to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in the final years of the Obama Administration and was a member of the Department's senior leadership team. Since December 2017, Nikko has been Senator Warren's State Director. Nikko previously served in the administration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. 

"Anne is a gifted leader and committed public servant," said Senator Warren. "Anne's experience serving our country and working to improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans will be invaluable as we continue our fights to level the playing field. Nikko has been instrumental as we fight for the people of Massachusetts and I am grateful she will continue to lead those efforts. Anne and Nikko are key leaders as we enter the new year and the 116th Congress. I'm proud to have them on the team."

In addition to her service to Senator Warren and Secretary Burwell, for five years, Anne served as a member of the professional staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee and Oversight & Government Reform Committee for Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).  In her final year on the E&C staff, she was the lead Democratic staffer covering public health agencies and issues.  During her tenure on the E&C Committee, Anne collaborated with E&C Republican and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions staff on several bipartisan public health bills that advanced through the House and were signed into law.  She also drafted workforce provisions in the House health reform bill and helped steer the House health reform bill through E&C. Anne previously served in the U.S. Senate as a legislative assistant to Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.). 

Before joining Senator Warren's office, Nikko worked as Communications Director at the Massachusetts division of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the Commonwealth's largest healthcare union representing nearly 60,000 members. Nikko also served for over three years in the administration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as Director of Operations, promoting the administration's growth and opportunity policy agenda through strategic management and execution of gubernatorial events across Massachusetts, the U.S. and abroad. Before that, she served as Governor Patrick's Deputy Director of Government Affairs, advancing the administration's legislative and policy priorities, including legislation to address the rising cost of healthcare and proposals to curb youth violence. Nikko began her career in the office of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino as a summer intern and ultimately became Assistant Director of Neighborhood Services, managing daily operation of the department responsible for strengthening relationships with civic, community and business organizations and collaborating with city agencies to provide constituent services.


Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

December 27, 2018

The Joint Center Applauds U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Appointment of Black Woman as Chief of Staff

WASHINGTON – Today, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies commended U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her appointment of Anne Reid as chief of staff. Reid is currently the only Black woman serving as chief of staff to a Democratic U.S. Senator. The Boston Globe reported the appointment this morning.  

“Black women play a critical role in our democracy, and Senator Warren’s appointment of a talented staffer like Anne Reid recognizes that Americans from all backgrounds can serve in a leadership role at the highest levels of government. Other Senators and House Members should take notice,” said Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center. “More than 300 top staff positions are being filled during the transition into the 116th Congress, and over the next few weeks Members have an opportunity to start to fix the lack of diversity among top staff in Congress. They should also adopt policies to help ensure all talent is recognized, such as annual disclosure of staff demographics by position, interviewing at least one person of color for every top and mid-level position opening (the “Rooney Rule”), factoring a Member’s staff diversity into committee assignments, unconscious bias training for staff, and setting up a chamber-wide diversity office to support Members.”

“We commend Senator Warren for increasing staff diversity among chiefs of staff,” said Don Bell, Director of the Black Talent Initiative at the Joint Center. “As we have seen so far during this hiring season, the face of senior staff in the House and Senate is changing because of Members who recognize that it is not enough to have diversity in electoral coalitions. Diversity and inclusion must be the centerpiece of policymaking. It starts with staff."

In 2015, the Joint Center issued a report, Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff, finding that African Americans accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. population and 22 percent of those who identified as Democratic voters, but less than 1 percent of top Senate staffers (only one was a chief of staff—Jennifer DeCasper in the office of Tim Scott (R-SC)). Currently, the only Black Senate chiefs of staff are Reid, DeCasper, Dana Gresham in the office of Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), and Brennen Britton in the office of Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS). Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has a Black woman who is serving as his acting chief of staff (Tamia Booker) while the chief is out on paternity leave.

On December 14, the Joint Center launched an interactive tool to track new top staff hires in the 116th Congress. According to the Joint Center’s tool, seven Black chiefs of staff were hired by newly-elected and returning Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 116th Congress between November 2018 and December 21, 2018.