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Shuwanza Goff Becomes First Black Woman To Serve As White House’s Chief Emissary To Capitol Hill

Shuwanza Goff Becomes First Black Woman To Serve As White House’s Chief Emissary To Capitol Hill

She’s well equipped for the job!

President Joe Biden has just named Shuwanza Goff as the new director of legislative affairs, Miami Times Online reports. The appointment is historic, Goff making history as the first Black woman to serve as the White House’s chief emissary to Capitol Hill. Goff is a veteran congressional aide, previously serving as the White House’s deputy director of legislative affairs and House liaison. She left earlier this year for a role in the private sector before agreeing to rejoin the administration. Before joining the White House administration, she served as a senior aide and floor director to Maryland Democratic leader Rep. Steny Hoyer.

“[Goff is a] proven leader and trusted voice on both sides of the aisle…Shuwanza’s close partnership with my decades-long friends in the House and Senate, and her expertise, instincts and deep respect for the United States Congress will continue to serve our administration and the American people well,” said Biden.

The 38-year-old Virginia native holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and American University. Her experience as Hoyer’s floor director put her in regular communication with leaders on both sides, the Senate and the White House, previously making history as the first Black woman to hold that title as well. During her decade on Capitol Hill, she also played a key role in Biden’s first two years as president, helping with COVID-19 relief, climate issues, Biden’s tax and health care package and the confirmation of the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. 

Goff will take over in her new role for former legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell. While tasked with making sure Biden’s agenda remains on track and managing relations with House Republicans, Goff will also have to grapple with the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, passage of a comprehensive defense policy package and averting another government shutdown. Still many Democrats and Republicans say she’s more than equipped to handle the job. 

“Shuwanza is a friend, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle know that she is a policy professional with the experience and institutional knowledge of both the legislative and executive branch. The White House is lucky to have her back,” said Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Goff’s former boss Hoyer echoed those sentiments, saying, “She’s just an easy person to work with and she’s smart as she can be…She is smart, people know she’s smart but she also has empathy and patience to listen to others’ point of view.”

Congratulations Shuwanza!

Cover photo: Shuwanza Goff becomes first Black woman to serve as White House chief emissary to Capitol Hill/Photo Courtesy of