Today, the Council of the District of Columbia voted for Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Ward 5, to become Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary for Council Period 21. Councilmember McDuffie released the following statement:
“It has been an honor to serve as Chair of the Committee on Government Operations, where, amongst many other legislative accomplishments, we introduced and passed sweeping campaign finance and ethics reform legislation. I am particularly looking forward to chairing the Committee on the Judiciary, given my professional background in criminal justice. Last year, I was proud to play an integral role in passing ‘ban the box’ legislation, which will have a profound impact on reducing recidivism and making every neighborhood in the District of Columbia safer. As Chair of the very same committee, I will continue to seek balanced solutions to our greatest public safety challenges.”
Kenyan began his career in public service working for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton 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, 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 and working to reform the policies and procedures of police departments throughout the country. He also worked as a policy advisor to the District’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.
Kenyan is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments’ Board of Directors as well as a member of the District’s Workforce Investment Council. Recently, he earned the distinction of being named one of the “Top 40 Trailblazers Under 40” by the National Bar Association.
In addition, Councilmember McDuffie will sit on the Committee on Finance and Revenue and Committee on Transportation and the Environment.