Hakeem Jeffries ’97 elected to lead House Democrats

On November 30, Democrats in the US House of Representatives elected Hakeem Jeffries ’97 as their leader, succeeding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He will be the first Black person to be the leader of a major political party in Congress. 

Hakeem Jeffries standing in front of Brooklyn brownstones
Hakeem Jeffries ’97

Jeffries has served as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House, since 2019. He was first elected to Congress in 2012, representing New York’s 8th Congressional district, which encompasses neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens.

Earlier in his career, Jeffries clerked for Judge Harold Baer Jr. of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and then worked as a litigator at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and as litigation counsel at CBS/Viacom. In 2006, he was elected to New York’s State Assembly, where he served three terms.

At NYU Law, Jeffries served on the NYU Law Review and was active in the Black Allied Law Students Association. Graduating magna cum laude, he delivered the student address at Convocation. Since then, Jeffries has maintained strong ties with the Law School, teaching as an adjunct professor and returning to speak at NYU Law on several occasions, including as the 2019 JD Convocation speaker. In 2019, he received NYU’s Eugene J. Keogh Award for Distinguished Public Service. In addition to his JD from NYU Law, Jeffries holds a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University.

Read more about Hakeem Jeffries in this 2019 profile, “Deep Roots,” from NYU Law Magazine.

Posted November 30, 2022