Heard on the Hill

Thom Tillis Appoints New Legislative Director

Courtney Temple is one of the Senate’s few African-American senior staffers

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis announced the promotion Sunday of one of the few senior African-American staffers in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has appointed a new legislative director, who will be one of the few African-American senior staffers in the Senate.

Courtney Temple will lead Tillis’ legislative team after she was promoted from legislative assistant to director on Monday. She replaces Katy Talento, who will join President-elect Donald Trump’s White House Domestic Policy Council, focusing on healthcare policy. 

[Senate Staff Diversity Efforts Turn to New Congress

“Courtney is a legislative all-star whose work ethic and passion for public policy is unmatched,” Tillis said in a statement. “Her promotion is well-deserved, and I’m excited to have her leading our legislative team as we advance policy priorities in the 115th Congress that will generate opportunities for hardworking Americans and get our nation headed back in the right direction.”

Temple has worked for Tillis since 2015. She previously led the government relations department at the U.S. Travel Association. She has also served in the House, where she worked as legislative director for former Nevada GOP Rep. Joe Heck.

[Black Senate Staffers Push for More Diversity]

According to Tillis’ office, Temple will be the fourth African-American senior staffer in the Senate. Current and former Senate staffers have been pushing for offices to boost diversity as the new Congress kicks off and offices look to hire staff.

No entity currently tracks staffer demographic data, but the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus has recommended establishing a permanent office that would track those statistics and help offices diversify. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer supports a resolution that would establish that office.

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.