Congressional Staff Roles

Each member of Congress has staff to assist them during their term in office. To effectively communicate with your Congressional representative, it is helpful to know the titles and principal functions of their key staff.

Administrative Assistant or Chief of Staff

The administrative assistant or chief of staff reports directly to the member of Congress and have overall responsibility for evaluating the political outcome of various legislative proposals and constituent requests. They are usually the person in charge of overall office operations, including the assignment of work and the supervision of key staff.

Legislative Director, Senior Legislative Assistant or Legislative Coordinator

The legislative director is usually the staff person who monitors the legislative schedule and makes recommendations regarding the pros and cons of particular issues. In some congressional offices there are several legislative assistants and responsibilities are assigned to staff with particular expertise in specific areas. For example, depending on the responsibilities and interests of the member, an office may include different legislative assistants for health issues, environmental matters, taxes, etc.

Press Secretary or Communications Director

The press secretary's responsibility is to build and maintain open and effective lines of communication between the member, their constituency and the general public. They are expected to know the benefits, demands and special requirements of both print and electronic media, and how to most effectively promote the member's views or position on specific issues.

Appointment Secretary, Personal Secretary, or Scheduler

The appointment secretary is usually responsible for allocating the member's time among the many demands that arise from congressional responsibilities, staff requirements and constituent requests. They may also be responsible for making necessary travel arrangements, arranging speaking dates, visits to the district, etc.

Caseworker

The caseworker is the staff member usually assigned to help with constituent requests by preparing replies for the member's signature. Their responsibilities may also include helping resolve problems constituents present in relation to federal agencies, e.g., Social Security and Medicare issues, veteran's benefits, passports, etc. There are often several caseworkers in a congressional office.

Other Staff Titles

Other titles used in a congressional office may include: executive assistant, legislative correspondent, executive secretary, office manager and receptionist.