CSUN Alum Could Be America’s First ‘Second Gentleman’

  • Kamala Harris and Douglas Emhoff wave on stage by a Biden-Harris podium.

    Douglas Emhoff '87 (Communication Studies) could be America's first "Second Gentleman." He is married to U.S. Kamala Harris, who is running as vice president with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

  • California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a candidate for the state’s first open U.S. Senate seat in 24 years, makes a stop at CSUN on the afternoon of Nov. 1, 2016, for a get-out-the-vote rally sponsored by the student group CSUN Young Democrats. Her husband, Doug Emhoff ’87 (Communication Studies), an attorney and CSUN alumnus, looks on (standing, far right).

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a candidate for the state’s first open U.S. Senate seat in 24 years, makes a stop at CSUN on the afternoon of Nov. 1, 2016, for a get-out-the-vote rally sponsored by the student group CSUN Young Democrats. Her husband, Doug Emhoff ’87 (Communication Studies), an attorney and CSUN alumnus, looks on (standing, far right). Photo by David J. Hawkins.

  • Douglas Emhoff, a partner in global law firm DLA Piper who is married to Sen. Kamala Harris, shown with CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, right, and CSUN Nazarian College Executive in Residence Wendy Greuel at a 2019 Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce event.

    Douglas Emhoff, a partner in global law firm DLA Piper who is married to Sen. Kamala Harris, shown with CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, right, and CSUN Nazarian College Executive-in-Residence Wendy Greuel at a 2019 Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce event.

When presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden named U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate on Tuesday, he also picked a Matador as the potential “Second Gentleman” of the United States.

Douglas Emhoff, a partner in global law firm DLA Piper who married Harris in 2014, graduated from CSUN in 1987 with a bachelor’s in communication studies. He and Harris are both members of the CSUN President’s Associates philanthropic support organization and longtime supporters of CSUN.

Harris, D-Calif., the former Attorney General of California, would be the first female vice president of the United States — and also the first person of Black and Asian American descent. Spouses of the vice president have been given the informal title “Second Lady”; Emhoff could be the nation’s first “Second Gentleman.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to have a CSUN alumnus be part of this historic moment,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. “Douglas Emhoff has had an important and influential career in the legal profession, and we are proud to call him a Matador.”

Emhoff specializes in media, sports and entertainment, representing corporations and high-profile individuals in business, entertainment and intellectual property litigation disputes. He is licensed to practice law in California and Washington, D.C. He is a native of Brooklyn, and after CSUN he graduated from the USC Gould School of Law. He opened his own law firm in 2000 that was later acquired by the Venable law firm.

He has been an enthusiastic supporter of Harris’ during her campaigns over the years. He shared his excitement about her new opportunity on Twitter.

Harris visited campus with her husband for a get-out-the-vote rally when she was running for U.S. Senate in 2016.

“I’m so excited to be here! Because the love of my life, my best friend, is a Matador,” Harris said, introducing her husband to a packed crowd in a classroom at Jacaranda Hall. “If it hadn’t been for CSUN and the great education he got here, he wouldn’t have been able to go on to law school.”

The couple’s support for the university has continued over the years.

“Douglas and Senator Harris have been strong supporters of CSUN and are members of our President’s Associates giving society,” said Robert Gunsalus, vice president for University Relations and Advancement and president of the CSUN Foundation. “Their advocacy shines a light on the importance of CSUN’s mission and the transformative power of higher education.”

— CSUN Today editor Olivia Herstein contributed to this report.

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