With Pennsylvania called for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday, the Democratic nominee is projected to become the 46th president of the United States. His running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, is set to make history as the first female vice president-elect in U.S. history. And by her side, her husband, CSUN alumnus Doug Emhoff ’87 (Communication Studies), is projected to become the first “Second Gentleman” in U.S. history.
Emhoff, a partner in global law firm DLA Piper, married Harris in 2014. The couple are both members of the CSUN President’s Associates philanthropic support organization and longtime supporters of the university.
Harris, D-Calif., the former Attorney General of California, is projected to be the first vice president of Black and Asian American descent.
Emhoff is also breaking ground. “He [would] be the first Jewish person to be among the group of presidents, vice presidents and their spouses — and the first male spouse, ever,” according to The Washington Post. “No one is even quite sure what he’ll be called in his role. For 2½ centuries, presidential and vice-presidential spouses were known as first and second ladies. Some floated a title of ‘second gentleman,’ though he, too, is a first.”
“It’s incredibly exciting to have a CSUN alumnus be part of this historic moment,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said earlier this year when Biden picked Harris as his running mate. “Doug 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. In August, he shared his excitement about her new opportunity on Twitter.
America, let’s do this! pic.twitter.com/3a62UmB1PN
— Douglas Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) August 11, 2020
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.
“Doug 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.”