Chair Pro TemporeWard Members
An experienced attorney, civil rights advocate, and community leader dedicated to improving the lives of Ward 5 residents.
Term: May. 30, 2012 - Jan. 2, 2015
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 Government Operations
Represents: Ward 5
Stephanie Liotta Atkinson
Legislative and Communications Director
Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia on May 15, 2012. He is currently Chair Pro Tempore (Vice Chair) of the Council as well as Chair of the Committee on Government Operations, which is responsible for matters relating to elections, campaign finance, general services, and personnel. Additionally, the Committee on Government Operations has oversight of executive governmental agencies such as the Executive Office of the Mayor, the Office of the City Administrator, and the Department of General Services.
Since taking office, Kenyan has worked to provide meaningful representation for Ward 5. He has worked diligently with residents and public officials to introduce legislation, coordinate resources, and deliver services in order to improve the quality of life for all Ward 5 residents.
Kenyan’s story is deeply rooted in Ward 5. A third-generation Washingtonian and native of Ward 5, Kenyan was raised in a working-class family of six in the Stronghold neighborhood of Northeast, Kenyan is the third of four children. Raised by an electrician and a library technician, he learned early on the importance of family, hard work, education, perseverance and public service.
As an experienced attorney and civil rights advocate, Kenyan is a proven community leader. For more than a decade, Kenyan has dedicated himself to improving the lives of Ward 5 residents and the collective life of the community.
In addition to serving as president of his neighborhood’s civic association, Kenyan has held leadership positions in numerous local community organizations. Throughout his career, Kenyan has developed a comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of the District of Columbia and federal governments, and has worked extensively with members of area civic associations, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and government officials to solve problems, improve services, and to achieve successes for Ward 5 residents.
Kenyan’s ability to positively transform the future of Ward 5 and its residents is exemplified both by his achievements in public service and in his own life. Educated in the District of Columbia, Kenyan attended Shaed Elementary in Edgewood and graduated from St. Anthony Grade School in Brookland. He went on to graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School, where he played varsity basketball. After graduating from high school, Kenyan worked for several years as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. He eventually found the courage to resign from his position with the Postal Service in order to attend college. Kenyan enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia, eventually graduating summa cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Community Development and becoming the first male in his family ever to graduate from college.
After college, Kenyan began a career in public service, working on the staff of Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Armed with a passion for public service as well as a strong desire to make positive changes in his community, Kenyan enrolled in law school. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he served as an editor of the University of Maryland Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class.
Prior to being elected Councilmember, Kenyan worked as a policy advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, helping to shape policy and legislation concerning public safety in the District of Columbia. Prior to joining the Deputy Mayor’s office, he served as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he conducted investigations and managed cases throughout the United States regarding enforcement of key federal civil rights statutes—including defending the rights of the mentally ill, nursing home residents, persons with disabilities, and also working to reform the policies and procedures of police departments throughout the country. Before serving in the Justice Department, he 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. He also served as a judicial law clerk for an Associate Judge on the 7th Judicial Circuit of Maryland.
Kenyan and his wife, Princess, live in his childhood home in Ward 5 with their two young daughters.
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