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Speaker panel at a Center for Universal Education event



The Brookings Institution is committed to championing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of our work. We recognize that to produce high-quality research that informs innovative, practical policy recommendations, we must strive for a workplace that represents diversity of experience, thought, and personal background.

Brookings strives to continuously offer an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the experiences, ideas, and efforts of all contributors. This means ensuring that everyone is heard, appreciated, and empowered to fully participate in Brookings’s mission, and holding ourselves accountable whenever and wherever we can improve.

To that end, we publish our workplace and Board of Trustee demographics as we continue our journey towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the years since we began publishing this data in 2018, we have noted both exciting improvements and areas where continued, sustained effort is needed. Furthering this commitment, we have also sought to identify tangible, measurable goals for our community in these and other important areas.

While we will always have more to do, we remain optimistic that through hard work, transparency, and accountability, real progress on measures of diversity and inclusion can be achieved over the long term.



The source of this data is based on a questionnaire completed by all Brookings employees. The categories for race and gender are determined by the federal government for workforce reporting. The categories used for generation identification have been defined by Pew Research Center.

Generation Z: born 1997 to 2012
Millennial: born 1981 to 1996
Generation X: born 1965 to 1980
Baby Boomer: born 1946 to 1964
Silent Generation: born 1928 to 1945

The Numbers

As of July 1, 2022, our staff headcount was 396 employees in Washington, DC. This includes:

Our Leadership Team (11): President and Vice Presidents
Our Fellows/Senior Fellows (102): Brookings Resident Scholars
Our Research Support (68): Research Assistants, Research Associates and Research Analysts
Our Operational Teams (214): Central and Program positions in Management, Operations, Communications, Development, Facilities, Finance, HR, Library, Legal, and Information Technology

This data does not include our nonresident scholars, as they are not employees.

Stock photography of employees looking at the Brookings data visualization on a laptop screen

The Data

(Data labels may not sum to 100% due to rounding)

  • All Roles
  • Leadership
  • Fellows
  • Research
  • Operational
  • Board of Trustees


Gen Z
1 Gen X
1 Baby Boomer
1 Silent Gen


41 Female
21 Male


1 White
1 Asian
1 Black/African American
1 Hispanic/Latino
1 Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
1 American Indian/Native Alaskan
1 Two or More


Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer April McWilliams speaking at Brookings Career Day

How We're Improving

Recent Highlights

Prioritizing race, justice, and equity in our research

Brookings is committed to producing research from diverse voices and on policy challenges created by racism. Our scholars offer analysis on critical issues, convene top experts and practitioners to discuss ideas and highlight policy solutions, and seek new partnerships to expand our network and the impact of our work.

Celebrating the diversity of our community and striving for inclusivity and work-life balance

Core Commitments

The Brookings Inclusion and Diversity Committee was formed in 2016. The committee consists of 22 staff members at all levels – from early career to executive – with representatives from business units, research programs, and employee networks. Members serve as ambassadors and liaisons to their teams and are the thought leaders behind the work we do. The committee’s mission is to advance the strategic priority on inclusion, equity, and diversity at Brookings through:

  • Championing an environment of cultural awareness and change;
  • Robust recruitment outreach to traditionally underrepresented communities;
  • Engaging formal and informal leaders throughout the Institution;
  • Challenging or changing practices and policies that inhibit inclusion and diversity; and
  • Working to ensure that the public face of Brookings is representative of the world in which we live and work.

In the ensuing six years, the Committee, staff working groups and others around the Institution have undertaken the following core, ongoing activities to support this mission:

  • Continuing Race, Justice, and Equity as a Presidential Research Priority
  • Prioritizing gender, racial, and other forms of diversity in all Brookings events. This includes seeking to avoid “all male” panels and ensure invited speakers represent a variety of perspectives and backgrounds related to the topics being discussed.
  • Providing training opportunities on topics such as unconscious bias, a respectful workplace, managing with an equity lens, microbehaviors, and cross-generational work environments
  • Embedding inclusion, equity, and diversity in our human resources practices, including the regular analysis of the recruitment and selection processes
  • Developing and implementing a jobs framework and a pay transparency initiative that seek to ensure equitable treatment across the institution
  • Celebrating the diversity of our staff through Heritage Months and other cultural observances

Priorities for the Year Ahead

Over the next year, we are committed to building on our existing work and to continuing to advance our core commitments. In addition, we are prioritizing the following activities in the year ahead:

Establishing Affinity Groups

We are launching several new employee-led affinity groups. The current priority group focus areas, as identified by staff, include a group for BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees, employees that are parents and/or caregivers, and LGBTQ+ employees.

Launching a new Board commitment

The Brookings Board of Trustees is launching a newly established Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The Committee will be led by Brookings Trustees Tim Ryan and Cheryl Crazy Bull. The Board Committee will be responsible for ensuring that the values of DEI show up in organizational and leadership development and results in a welcoming workplace that attracts, maintains, and engages a talented workforce.

Reimagining our Internship Program

We are building on our success in guaranteeing that all internship opportunities at Brookings are paid and working to ensure that our internship program is structured to attract and support students from backgrounds historically not afforded the opportunity to contribute to Brookings. This includes updates to how we do recruitment and selection, the learning experiences and opportunities we offer, and how we prepare and support staff to be committed partners in this work.

Enhancing our Recruitment, Selection, and Onboarding Practices

We are expanding our outreach to attract historically underrepresented talent, strengthening our internal recruitment practices to minimize the effects of unconscious bias, and enhancing our onboarding process to ensure that all new employees are positioned for success by feeling included, valued, and respected from day one.

Pay Transparency

We are implementing a thoughtful, robust communication strategy aimed at increasing employees’ and job applicants’ knowledge of Brookings’s pay practices. We are committed to educating all employees on our pay philosophy, compensation program structure, and pay analysis practices for ensuring equity.

Supporting Program Efforts

We are continuing to support efforts led by staff in our research programs and business units to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion.

New employee orientation day at Brookings


As we work to make progress within our own institution on diversity, equity, and inclusion, we seek to apply the same rigorous, research-based principles that guide all of our work. In that spirit, we conduct ongoing research to help inform our inclusion and diversity objectives and priorities.

Photo credits:
Photos by Paul Morigi, Sharon Farmer, and the Brookings Network

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