3 important facts about Shuwanza Goff, who makes history again as White House legislative chief

Mildred Europa Taylor July 26, 2023
Shuwanza Goff photo courtesy of Biden Transition Team

Veteran congressional aide Shuwanza Goff will become the next legislative affairs director at the White House, making her the first African-American woman to serve in the role, President Joe Biden announced Monday. 

38-year-old Goff, who previously served as the office’s deputy director under Biden, will replace director Louisa Terrell, who is stepping down. Goff earlier this year left her deputy position for the private sector, and the presidency is excited that she is returning to take a role that is the main point of contact between the White House and Congress, The Washington Post reported.

“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 known for having strong working relationships with top-ranking House members:

She first made history in 2013

Goff’s first job on Capitol Hill was as a staff assistant in Steny H. Hoyer’s office in 2008. She was at the time a graduate student at American University. In 2013, she became Hoyer’s floor director, making her the first African-American woman to serve in the role in the history of the U.S. House. 

As part of her duties, she helped decide which bills made it to the House floor, set the legislative schedule, and helped craft the overall House Democratic agenda, the White House said.

She has worked on some of Biden’s signature legislation

As Biden’s deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, Shuwanza helped pass what Biden calls “monumental pieces of legislation” through Congress including the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Chips and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. She also led negotiations with Congressional leaders and coordinated outreach to advance White House initiatives and priorities on issues including infrastructure, COVID-19, postal reform, gun violence, semiconductors, healthcare and two major reconciliation packages, the statement by the White House said. What’s more, Shuwanza helped in the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

She has a master’s from American University

A native of Virginia, Shuwanza earned her Master’s in Science in justice, law and society from American University and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Tennessee. The Wasington Post said that when Goff left her deputy position earlier this year, she worked with lobbying firm Cornerstone Government Affairs.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 26, 2023

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