D.C. Councilmembers

Chair Pro TemporeWard Members

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie

An experienced attorney, civil rights advocate, and community leader dedicated to improving the lives of Ward 5 residents.

Term: Jan. 2, 2015 - Jan. 2, 2019

Time on Council: 2012 to present

Political Affiliation: Democratic Party

Office: 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 506, Washington, DC 20004

Tel: (202) 724-8028 | Fax: (202) 724-8076

Chair of: Committee on Business and Economic Development

Represents: Ward 5

Key Staff

Ronan Gulstone

Chief of Staff/Itnerim Committee Director

(202) 724-8053


Demetris Cheatham

Deputy Chief of Staff



Laisha T. Dougherty

Scheduler / Staff Assistant



Barbara Mitchell

Legislative Director



Nolan Treadway

Communications Director



Wesley Dawson

Constituent Services Coordinator




Given his strong background in law and policy, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie was unanimously supported by his peers to serve as Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary. The Committee on the Judiciary has oversight over 36 agencies and commissions, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Board of Elections. As Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary Kenyan has fought to: end the use of solitary confinement, life sentences, and indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in court; increase transparency and access to police body-worn camera footage; reform the District’s criminal justice system by pursuing a public health approach to violent crime; and, most recently, explore the feasibility of implementing “Civil Gideon” in the District of Columbia.

Kenyan began his career in public service working for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives shortly after graduating summa cum laude from Howard University. He went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he served as an editor of the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class.

Prior to joining the Council, Kenyan worked extensively in the legal and public safety fields.  He served as a law clerk for an Associate Judge on the 7th Judicial Circuit of Maryland and worked as an Assistant State's Attorney in Prince George’s County, where he prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases in District Court and on appeal in Circuit Court.  Kenyan served as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), where he conducted investigations and managed complex cases throughout the United States regarding enforcement of key federal civil rights statutes, including defending the rights of the mentally ill. During his tenure at DOJ, he was also an integral team member on cases to reform the policies and procedures of police departments. More recently, he served as a policy advisor to the District of Columbia’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.

Nationally, Kenyan has been featured on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, MSNBC and National Public Radio. For more information, please visit http://www.kenyanmcduffie.com.


Ban the Box: A Politician’s Crusade to Get the Felony Question off Job Applications. CM McDuffie’s introduces a successful amendment to a bill, which prohibits employers from checking an applicant’s criminal record prior to making a conditional offer of employment. The Root, June 24, 2014.

D.C. Crime Bill Aims to Treat Root Causes.  CM McDuffie’s bill, the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Amendment Act takes an innovative public health approach to preventing crime. Afro, March 9, 2016.

Q&A with Kenyan McDuffie: From DOJ to the D.C. Council. One-on-one interview with CM McDuffie. National Law Journal, March 26, 2015.

DC to stop routinely shackling juvenile defendants in court. CM McDuffie convened a working group of judiciary stakeholders to develop a court order that will put an end to the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles. Associated Press, April 3, 2015

Bowser administration wants to keep police body camera footage exempt from FOIA requests. CM McDuffie calls for a hearing on plans by the Mayor to create a FOIA exemption for police body-worn cameras. Fox 5 (Video), April 13, 2015.

Recent Votes

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