Shuwanza Goff: 3 Facts About African-American Woman Who is the new White House Legislative Chief

President Joe Biden said Monday that veteran congressional staffer Shuwanza Goff will be the next legislative affairs director at the White House, making her the first African-American woman to hold the position.

Goff, 38, previously worked as the office’s deputy director under Biden and will take over for director Louisa Terrell, who is stepping down. Goff left her deputy post in the private sector earlier this year, and the White House is thrilled that she is returning to serve as the primary point of contact between the White House and Congress.

“Shuwanza is a proven leader and trusted voice on both sides of the aisle,” Biden said in a statement. “She returns to the White House with strong relationships across both Chambers, forged over more than a decade on Capitol Hill.”

Here are three facts about history-maker Shuwanza, who is noted for having great working connections with House leaders:

She first made history in 2013

Goff’s first employment on Capitol Hill was as a staff assistant in the office of Steny H. Hoyer in 2008. She was a graduate student at American University at the time. She became Hoyer’s floor director in 2013, making her the first African-American woman to hold the position in the history of the United States House of Representatives.

According to the White House, she helped decide which measures made it to the House floor, set the legislative schedule, and helped develop the broader House Democratic agenda as part of her duties.

Shuwanza Goff, left, speaks with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Md., as they walk to a Closed Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Goff is the first African-American woman to serve as floor director in Hoyer’s office. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

She has worked on some of Biden’s signature legislation

Shuwanza worked as Biden’s deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, helping to pass “monumental pieces of legislation” through Congress, including the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, as well as the Chips and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

According to the White House statement, she also led negotiations with Congressional leaders and coordinated outreach to advance White House initiatives and priorities on issues such as infrastructure, COVID-19, postal reform, gun violence, semiconductors, healthcare, and two major reconciliation packages. Furthermore, Shuwanza assisted in the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, as reported by How Africa.

She has a master’s from American University

Shuwanza is a Virginia native who received her Master of Science in justice, law, and society from American University and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Tennessee. According to the Washington Post, Goff worked for lobbying company Cornerstone Government Affairs after leaving her deputy job earlier this year.

Leave a Reply