Douglas Emhoff

Douglas Emhoff
Doug Emhoff 2020.jpg
Emhoff in 2020
Second Gentleman of the United States
Assumed role
January 20, 2021
Vice PresidentKamala Harris
Preceded byKaren Pence
(as Second Lady)
Personal details
Douglas Craig Emhoff

(1964-10-13) October 13, 1964 (age 56)
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Children2 incl. Ella
ResidenceNumber One Observatory Circle
EducationCalifornia State University, Northridge (BA)
University of Southern
WebsiteWhite House website

Douglas Craig Emhoff[1] (born October 13, 1964) is an American lawyer who is the second gentleman of the United States.[2] He is married to the 49th vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris. As the first-ever husband of a vice president, Emhoff is the first Second Gentleman in American history. He is also the first Jewish spouse of a vice president.[3]

Emhoff began his career as an entertainment lawyer. He was managing director of Venable's West Coast offices and later became a partner at DLA Piper. He is also a distinguished visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Early life and education

Emhoff was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the son of Jewish parents, Barbara and Michael Emhoff.[4] He has a brother Andy and a sister Jamie.[5] From 1969 to 1981, he grew up in Matawan and Old Bridge Township, New Jersey, and attended Cedar Ridge High School.[6] His family were congregants of Temple Shalom, a Reform synagogue in Aberdeen Township, at which Emhoff became a bar mitzvah in 1977 (he wore a brown, velour suit).[7] The following summer, in 1978, Emhoff attended Camp Cedar Lake in Milford, PA where he was voted "most athletic" of his division at age 13.[7] When he was 17, he moved with his family to California,[8] where he graduated from Agoura High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge and a Juris Doctor from the USC Gould School of Law in 1990.[9]


Emhoff is an entertainment litigator and began his career at Pillsbury Winthrop's litigation group. He moved to Belin Rawlings & Badal, a boutique firm, in the late 1990s. He opened his own firm with Ben Whitwell in 2000, which was acquired by Venable LLP in 2006. His clients included Walmart and Merck,[10] and he became managing director of Venable's West Coast offices.[11]

Emhoff joined DLA Piper as a partner in 2017, working at its Washington, D.C., and California offices.[12][13] Following the announcement that his wife would be Joe Biden's running mate in the 2020 United States presidential election, Emhoff took a leave of absence from the firm.[13] Following the Biden–Harris ticket's win, the campaign announced Emhoff would permanently leave DLA Piper prior to Inauguration Day to avoid conflict of interest concerns.[14]

In December 2020, Georgetown University Law Center announced that Emhoff would join the school's faculty as a distinguished visitor and as a distinguished fellow of the school's Institute for Technology Law and Policy.[15]

Second Gentleman of the United States

Emhoff's wife Kamala Harris was a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries before dropping out in December 2019.[16] In August 2020, Harris was announced as Joe Biden's running mate for the presidential election, making Emhoff the third man in U.S. history to be a spouse of the vice presidential candidate of a major party, following John Zaccaro (spouse of Geraldine Ferraro) and Todd Palin (spouse of Sarah Palin).[17] When Harris assumed office, Emhoff became the first Second Gentleman of the United States.[18] He is also the first Jewish spouse of a U.S. vice president.[9][19][20][13]

In his role as Second Gentleman, Emhoff plans to focus on equal access to justice and legal representation.[21]

In March 2021, while Second Gentleman, Emhoff began teaching a course entitled "Entertainment Law Disputes" at the Georgetown University Law Center. Emhoff noted that the undertaking the role has offered him a newfound respect for educators as he has "learned [that] teaching is really hard", saying he has "so much respect for the teachers out there doing this each and every day".[22]

Personal life

Emhoff was married for 16 years to Kerstin Emhoff, née Mackin.[23] They have two children, Cole and Ella.[24][25] He married Kamala Harris on August 22, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California, with Kamala's sister Maya Harris officiating.[26] As of August 2019, Emhoff and Harris had an estimated net worth of $5.8 million.[27] The couple temporarily resided at Blair House, the official guest house of the President, while the official residence of the Vice President Number One Observatory Circle underwent maintenance and renovation at the beginning of Harris's term.[28] They also maintain homes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.[29]


  1. ^ "Attorney Licensee Profile: Douglas Craig Emhoff". The State Bar of California. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "Douglas Emhoff: Second Gentleman". The White House. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  3. ^ Deliso, Meredith (November 7, 2020). "Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's husband Doug Emhoff set to become 1st second gentleman". ABC News. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Amy S. (November 20, 2020). "Second gentleman, first Jew, Jersey-raised: Doug Emhoff is making history". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  5. ^ Goldstein, Jessica M. (October 5, 2020). "Doug Emhoff Is the Good Husband". Marie Claire.
  6. ^ "Kamala Harris's husband has roots in Matawan, Old Bridge". November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Freedman, Dan. "Doug Emhoff, The First Second Gentleman". Moment Magazine.
  8. ^ Davis, Mike (August 12, 2020). "Kamala Harris's husband, Douglas Emhoff, has 'NJ in his veins'". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Kisken, Tom (August 26, 2020). "Agoura High alumnus could become nation's first 'second gentleman'". Ventura County Star. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  10. ^ Saul, Stephanie (August 17, 2020). "Doug Emhoff, Kamala Harris's husband, takes a leave of absence from his law firm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Greene, Jenna (August 13, 2020). "Westlaw Today Signon". Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  12. ^ Summers, Juana (June 8, 2019). "Harris's husband takes on growing public role in 2020 race". Associated Press. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Bonos, Lisa (August 19, 2020). "The story of Kamala and Doug, a match made in Hollywood (literally)". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  14. ^ "The Latest: Biden speaks to leaders of European allies". AP NEWS. November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  15. ^ "Kamala Harris's Husband Named to Faculty at Georgetown Law". December 10, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  16. ^ Reston, Maeve (June 3, 2019). "What to know about Douglas Emhoff, Kamala Harris's husband, after that onstage protester moment". CNN. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Emmrich, Stuart (August 13, 2020). "The 9 Things We Know About Kamala Harris's Husband". Vogue. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  18. ^ Edelman, Adam (August 13, 2020). "The first 'second gentleman'? Meet Kamala Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff". NBC News. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  19. ^ "Douglas Emhoff: Kamala Harris's husband and potential 'second gentleman'". BBC News. August 13, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  20. ^ Schor, Elana (August 12, 2020). "Harris brings Baptist, interfaith roots to Democratic ticket". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  21. ^ Deliso, Meredith (November 7, 2020). "Doug Emhoff set to become 1st second gentleman". Good Morning America. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  22. ^ Chamlee, Virginia (March 9, 2021). "Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on What He's Learned from His Classroom Day Job". People. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  23. ^ Goldstein, Jessica M. (October 5, 2020). "Doug Emhoff Is the Good Husband". Marie Claire. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  24. ^ Harris, Kamala (May 10, 2019). "Sen. Kamala Harris on Being 'Momala'". Elle. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  25. ^ Friedman, Gabe (August 11, 2020). "Kamala Harris is Joe Biden's VP pick – here's what Jewish voters should know". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  26. ^ Siders, David (August 25, 2014). "Kamala Harris married in Santa Barbara ceremony". The Sacramento Bee.
  27. ^ "The Net Worth Of Every 2020 Presidential Candidate". Forbes. August 14, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  28. ^ Koncius, Jura (January 22, 2021). "Vice President Harris to stay at Blair House while official residence undergoes repairs". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  29. ^ Bose, Debanjali (October 12, 2020). "Take a Look inside Kamala Harris's multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio, which includes property in California and Washington, DC". Business Insider. Retrieved January 18, 2021.

External links

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Karen Pence
as Second Lady
Second Gentleman of the United States


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