Jennifer Van der Heide – Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Deb Haaland

Jennifer Van der Heide is a highly effective leader with over 20 years of federal, state, and local legislative, legal, electoral, and policy experience, in both the public and private sector. She is returning to Capitol Hill as Chief of Staff for Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01). She previously served as Chief of Staff for Rep. Mike Honda (Silicon Valley) since his election in 2001. As a strategic and dynamic leader, Van der Heide served as Political Director for Rep. Honda’s nine-year tenure as DNC Vice-Chair, and as Chief Strategist during his Chairmanship of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. She has a demonstrated ability to lead diverse and innovative talent to accomplish objectives and build coalitions for policy and political campaigns, develop legislative strategy, and manage traditional and social media outreach to effectively influence public opinion. 

In additional to her legal and legislative skills, Van der Heide’s management and social intelligence skills stand out. She knows how Washington works, and has cultivated strong relationships particularly with the California Congressional delegation, the progressive and the Tri-Caucus community (Asian, Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses) and in Democratic circles. 

Van der Heide previously served as the DC Director and on-reservation attorney for the Hoopa Valley Tribe; Tribal Attorney for California Indian Legal Services, and in private litigation practice in CA. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University, and a Juris Doctorate from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, with a focus on public interest law. Van der Heide is a Senior Stennis Congressional Staff Fellow, a senior Congressional European Parliamentary Initiative participant, and a Women’s Executive Leadership Program Fellow.