Doug Emhoff

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Doug Emhoff
Official portrait, 2022
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 59)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
  • (m. 1992; div. 2008)
  • (m. 2014)
Children2, including Ella
  • Michael Emhoff
  • Barbara (née Kanzer) Emhoff
ResidenceNumber One Observatory Circle
EducationCalifornia State University, Northridge (BA)
University of Southern
WebsiteWhite House website

Douglas Craig Emhoff (born October 13, 1964) is an American lawyer who is the second gentleman of the United States.[1] He is married to the 49th vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris. As the first 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.[2]

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

Douglas Craig Emhoff[3] was born on October 13, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish parents, Barbara (née Kanzer) and Michael Emhoff.[4] He has a brother and a sister.[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.[7] The next summer, in 1978, Emhoff attended Camp Cedar Lake in Milford, Pennsylvania, where he was voted "most athletic" of his division at age 13.[7] When he was 17, he moved with his family to Southern California,[8] where he graduated from Agoura High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication studies from California State University, Northridge and a Juris Doctor from the USC Gould School of Law in 1990.[9]

Personal life

Emhoff was married for 16 years to Kerstin Emhoff, née Mackin.[10] They have two children, Cole and Ella.[11][12] He married Kamala Harris on August 22, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California, with Kamala's sister Maya Harris officiating.[13] As of August 2019, Emhoff and Harris had an estimated net worth of $5.8 million.[14] 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.[15] They also maintain homes in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.[16]


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,[17] and he became managing director of Venable's West Coast offices.[18]

Emhoff joined DLA Piper as a partner in 2017, working at its Washington, D.C., and California offices.[19][20] 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.[20] After the Biden–Harris ticket won, the campaign announced Emhoff would permanently leave DLA Piper before Inauguration Day to avoid conflict of interest concerns.[21]

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.[22]

Second Gentleman of the United States

Emhoff meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Tokyo, August 2021

In August 2020, Harris was announced as Biden's running mate in 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, after John Zaccaro (husband of Geraldine Ferraro) and Todd Palin (then-husband of Sarah Palin).[23]

When Harris assumed office, Emhoff became the first second gentleman of the United States.[24] He is also the first Jewish spouse of a U.S. vice president.[9][25][26][20] Emhoff was popularly labeled a "wife guy", a slang term referring to a man whose fame is owed to his wife (or content posted about his wife), or one who is exceptionally supportive of his wife.[27][28] In 2020, Emhoff called himself a wife guy on Twitter.[29]

In his role as Second Gentleman, Emhoff plans to focus on equal access to justice and legal representation.[30]

In March 2021, while Second Gentleman, Emhoff began teaching a course called "Entertainment Law Disputes" at the Georgetown University Law Center. He said he respected educators as he had "learned [that] teaching is really hard", saying he has "so much respect for the teachers out there doing this each and every day".[31]

Emhoff has led the U.S. delegations to several diplomatic events, including the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo and the inaugurations of South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol and Philippine president Bongbong Marcos.[32][33][34] In July 2022, he traveled to Eugene, Oregon, to participate in the opening ceremonies of the 2022 World Athletics Championships.[35]

In June 2023, Emhoff engaged with the Congressional Dads Caucus in a roundtable on Capitol Hill, discussing the Biden administration's family support programs. The discussion stressed the significance of universal family leave and encouraged its utilization. The roundtable's agenda focused on federal strategies to encourage co-parenting, promote paid family and medical leave policies, expand the Child Tax Credit, and improve access to affordable childcare.[36]

Combatting antisemitism

As the first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president, Emhoff emerged as one of the Biden administration's most prominent faces in the fight against antisemitism. After a November 2022 meeting between former president Donald Trump, Kanye West, and Nick Fuentes, the White House announced that Emhoff would lead a round table on antisemitism on December 7.[37][38][39]

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January 2023, Emhoff visited the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland alongside Holocaust survivors. His visit intended to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and to honor those who survived it. During his time at Auschwitz, Emhoff laid a wreath at the camp's "Wall of Death", where thousands of prisoners were executed, and participated in a memorial service with the survivors in attendance. Harris was not present.[40]

Emhoff was part of the White House team that launched the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, the country's first combatting antisemitism strategy, on May 25, 2023.[41]

In the context of reactions to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, Emhoff expressed concern about antisemitism in schools and on college campuses. He highlighted the conflations of Jewish identity with the actions of the Israeli government, leading to increased hostility and threats against Jewish people.[42]


  1. ^ "Douglas Emhoff: Second Gentleman". The White House. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Deliso, Meredith (November 7, 2020). "Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's husband Doug Emhoff set to become 1st second gentleman". US: ABC News. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  3. ^ "Attorney Licensee Profile: Douglas Craig Emhoff". The State Bar of California. Retrieved November 10, 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 (March 9, 2021). "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. ^ Goldstein, Jessica M. (October 5, 2020). "Doug Emhoff Is the Good Husband". Marie Claire. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  11. ^ Harris, Kamala (May 10, 2019). "Sen. Kamala Harris on Being 'Momala'". Elle. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Siders, David (August 25, 2014). "Kamala Harris married in Santa Barbara ceremony". The Sacramento Bee.
  14. ^ "The Net Worth Of Every 2020 Presidential Candidate". Forbes. August 14, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Greene, Jenna (August 13, 2020). "Westlaw Today Signon". Westlaw Today. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  19. ^ Summers, Juana (June 8, 2019). "Harris's husband takes on growing public role in 2020 race". Associated Press. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "The Latest: Biden speaks to leaders of European allies". Associated Press. November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  22. ^ "Kamala Harris's Husband Named to Faculty at Georgetown Law". Bloomberg News. December 10, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  23. ^ Emmrich, Stuart (August 13, 2020). "The 9 Things We Know About Kamala Harris's Husband". Vogue. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  24. ^ Edelman, Adam (August 13, 2020). "The first 'second gentleman'? Meet Kamala Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff". NBC News. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  25. ^ "Douglas Emhoff: Kamala Harris's husband and potential 'second gentleman'". BBC News. August 13, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  26. ^ Schor, Elana (August 12, 2020). "Harris brings Baptist, interfaith roots to Democratic ticket". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  27. ^ North, Anna (January 22, 2021). "Doug Emhoff, wife guy extraordinaire". Vox. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  28. ^ "Doug Emhoff Is a Certified Wife Guy - Washingtonian". April 1, 2021. Archived from the original on July 25, 2022. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  29. ^ Doug Emhoff [@douglasemhoff] (January 17, 2020). "From one Wife Guy to another Wife should be so proud of her my friend" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ Deliso, Meredith (November 7, 2020). "Doug Emhoff set to become 1st second gentleman". Good Morning America. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  31. ^ Chamlee, Virginia (March 9, 2021). "Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on What He's Learned from His Classroom Day Job". People. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  32. ^ Superville, Darlene (August 10, 2021). "VP spouse Doug Emhoff to represent US at Paralympic Games in Tokyo". Associated Press. Retrieved June 28, 2022 – via The Times of Israel.
  33. ^ Shim Woo-hyun (May 10, 2022). "Yoon makes diplomatic debut with delegates at inauguration". The Korea Herald. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  34. ^ Valmonte, Kaycee (June 27, 2022). "Second gentleman Emhoff to lead US delegation to Marcos Jr.'s inauguration". The Philippine Star. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  35. ^ "Advisory: Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to Travel to Oregon". The American Presidency Project ucsb wordmark black. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  36. ^ Semyon, Cassie (June 14, 2023). "Second Gentleman convenes roundtable on family issues ahead of Father's Day". Spectrum News NY1. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  37. ^ Daniels, Eugene (December 6, 2022). "Doug Emhoff emerges as the face of Biden's fight against antisemitism". POLITICO. Retrieved December 7, 2022. A few months ago, second gentleman Doug Emhoff asked his team about what more he could do about the rise of antisemitic incidents across the country. The issue had long concerned him. And in private conversations with other Jewish figures, he'd conveyed a desire to do something more forceful about it. His team decided that a roundtable with top officials would be appropriate. A few weeks ago, they started planning for it. But things took a turn around the Thanksgiving break, when news emerged that former President Donald Trump had dined with two notable antisemitic figures: white nationalist Nick Fuentes and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. Overnight, the roundtable that Emhoff had been planning became the most pointed administration response to a brewing national controversy. Come Wednesday, when top White House officials and Jewish leaders convene for it, it will further cement a status he never set out to have: one of America's foremost Jewish political figures.
  38. ^ Scott, Eugene (December 5, 2022). "Second gentleman Doug Emhoff to host roundtable focused on antisemitism". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  39. ^ Ordoñez, Franco (December 7, 2022). "Second gentleman Emhoff says antisemitism has become an epidemic". NPR. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  40. ^ Nagle, Molly (January 27, 2023). "Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff tours Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day". ABC News. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  41. ^ Launch of U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, retrieved July 24, 2023
  42. ^ Daniels, Eugene (November 4, 2023). "Emhoff: There is an 'antisemitism crisis' on our nation's campuses". POLITICO. Retrieved November 24, 2023.

External links

Honorary titles
Preceded byas Second Lady Second Gentleman of the United States
Current holder