Hakeem Jeffries Leader of House Democrats

November 30, 2022
A photo of the United States Capitol building

"A new day is dawning"

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) will lead the Democrats in the House of Representatives, and make history in the process.
Who He Is. Where He's From. Why It Matters:


  • Jeffries (52) husband, father of two, and a native of Brooklyn, New York.

  • Studied political science and public policy before earning his law degree at NYU School of Law.

  • He served on the NY State Assembly for six years before his election to Congress 10 years ago to represent the 8th Congressional District of NY (parts of Brooklyn and Queens).

  • Jeffries represents some of the same areas once represented by Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress.

"… I want to serve with honor, integrity, authenticity, and be able to say at the end of my tenure that I was able to get something done and make life a little better …"

Jeffries (quoted in 2021) decided to practice law in the 1990s "to try to advance the cause of racial and social justice." He will serve as the first black lawmaker to lead a political party in Congress in American history, effectively replacing 82-year-old Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who said, “A new day is dawning — and I am confident that these new leaders will capably lead our Caucus and the Congress."

The House Minority Leader leads the minority party in the House as House Speaker's counterpart. Their duties include striving to "promote party harmony … to maximize the chances for legislative and political success" (Congressional Research Service). As Jeffries was elected to become the highest-ranking Democrat in the House when the 118th Congress begins in Jan., Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) were elected to be the second- and third-ranking Democrats in the House as Democratic whip and caucus chairman. TBD who the Republicans will choose as their leader in the House.

Jeffries wins historic bid to lead House Dems after Pelosi (The Associated Press)

Jeffries makes historic bid to lead House Dems after Pelosi (The Associated Press; November 19, 2022)

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries: About

Hakeem Jeffries, Pressing to Lead Democrats, Marks a Generational Shift (The New York Times)

February 2021 Interview with Hakeem Jeffries (OZY)

The Role of the House Minority Leader: An Overview (Congressional Research Service)

by Jenna Lee,