There are lots of Washington power lists out there already, but this one is different. You’ll find no members of Congress here. This is about those working behind the scenes, members of a group that’s overworked but under-recognized: the most powerful women staffers on Capitol Hill.
This spring, National Journal contacted more than 1,500 congressional staffers in both parties and chambers—the people who’d know best—and asked them to nominate their colleagues for this list. We prompted them to tell us about the most exceptional and effective women they know: those who work tirelessly for their bosses and causes, who take action and take chances, who display leadership, and who generally get things done.
We received nearly 200 nominations (which made narrowing the list down to 20 no easy task). Our reporters sat down with the final cohort—below in no particular order—to learn how they got here, what they’ve done, and why Congress would move even slower without them.
Read individual profiles of the most powerful women staffers on Capitol Hill: Diane Dewhirst | Jo Marie St. Martin | Charlotte Ivancic | Janice Mays | Alexa Marrero | Barrett Karr | Maura Keefe | Shannon McGahn | Sarah Bolton | Tricia Russell | Kat Skiles | Sharon Soderstrom | Lynnel Ruckert | Jennifer DeCasper | Kate Leone | Kristine Lucius | Brenda Jones | Maria Meier | Alexis Covey-Brandt | Monique Waters
Read more from our Women in Washington series: What’s It Like to Be a Woman on Capitol Hill? | Why Some Male Members of Congress Won’t Be Alone with Female Staffers | What Young Feminists Think of Hillary Clinton |Women’s Magazines Go Washington