Washington Hires NFL's First Latina Chief of Staff

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The Washington Football Team has hired Natalia Dorantes as its coordinator of football operations, making her the first Latina to fill that role in the NFL, the team announced.

Dorantes will report directly to head coach Ron Rivera and work closely across various departments, from medical to scouting to public relations to the coaching staff, among others. 

“This is kind of new ground for us, because I’ve never had a quote-unquote chief of staff,” Rivera told The Athletic's Rhiannon Walker. “I needed a person that is going to be able to interact with coaches, with coordinators, and may have to say quite honestly, ‘No, I don’t think Coach wants that,’ or, ‘No, Coach doesn’t want that.’ Because the one thing that I want her to understand is that she’s going to have my voice."

Per The Athletic, there are 20 similar positions around the league, though titles of the roles vary by team. Dorantes will join Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson and the Falcons coordinator of head coach operations, Sarah Hogan, as the only women to hold those roles.

Since hiring Rivera, who is also Latinx, in January 2020, Washington has hired the NFL's first black president (Jason Wright), the NFL's first Black woman assistant coach (Jennifer King) and the first woman as part of a team's broadcast booth (Julie Donaldson, who also serves as the senior vice president of media). The team also hired a Black general manager earlier this offseason in Martin Mayhew.

Dorantes was previously Texas A&M's communications coordinator for the football team and has also worked at the NFL as a social media content creator and as a social media intern with the Cardinals.

"I'm a very proud Latina, and that's like the first thing I said," Dorantes told Kyle Stackpole, the editor of the Washington team website, regarding introducing herself to Rivera at the fifth annual NFL Women's Careers in Football Forum in February. "I was like, 'As another Hispanic, I think it's great that you're in football because there's not many of us, so thank you for that and thank you for being on the forum. It shows a lot that you're just here supporting us."