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The former House floor director is the first Black woman to serve as White House director of Legislative Affairs. Photo courtesy of Shuwanza Goff/LinkedIn
The former House floor director is the first Black woman named to serve as White House director of Legislative Affairs. Photo courtesy of Shuwanza Goff/LinkedIn

Shuwanza Goff named as President Biden’s new legislative affairs director

Goff is the former floor director for legislative operations for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the first African-American woman to serve in that position.

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Longtime congressional aide Shuwanza Goff was named President Joe Biden’s new director of legislative affairs, making her the first Black woman to be the White House’s main emissary to Capitol Hill. 

The former floor director for legislative operations for Majority Leader Steny will succeed Louisa Terrell in the role. Goff is known to have cultivated deep relationships with both Democrats and Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

In a statement, Biden called Goff 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,” Biden said.

She previously served as the White House’s deputy director of legislative affairs and House liaison, making her the main point of contact to House lawmakers. She left the administration earlier this year for the private sector before rejoining the White House.

“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,” McCarthy told The Associated Press. “The White House is lucky to have her back.”

As Hoyer’s floor director, she coordinated legislative activity in the House and was in contact with Democratic and GOP leaders, the Senate and the White House. She was the first Black woman to serve in that position.

Hoyer in a statement said he was “ecstatic” over Goff’s appointment, saying her intelligence and credibility on both sides of the aisle and straightforward demeanor will be useful for Biden with any upcoming challenges. 

“She’s just an easy person to work with and she’s smart as she can be,” Hoyer said. “She doesn’t show off smart, you know what I mean? She is smart, people know she’s smart but she also has empathy and patience to listen to others’ point of view.” 

Goff holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and American University and is a Virginia native.

She was named deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs as the liaison for House affairs for the Biden administration in November 2020, with Reema Dodin as deputy director and liaison for Senate affairs. 

Goff would step down in February 2023 to become a principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs. Current Director of the White House Office of Legislative affairs, Louisa Terrell, is stepping down from the position at the end of July.

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