Institute of Politics

Shahira Knight

Former White House Director of Legislative Affairs & Deputy Director of Economic Policy

Shahira Knight is the Deputy Managing Principal in the Policy & Government Relations (PGR) group of Deloitte LLP. She joined Deloitte in June 2019.

Shahira has more than 20 years of experience in government, public policy and public affairs. Most recently, she was Assistant to the President and Director of White House Legislative Affairs where she served as the top liaison between the White House and Capitol Hill and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the White House’s legislative strategy. She also helped coordinate legislative operations with executive agencies and departments.

Prior to assuming this role in July 2018, Shahira was Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council (NEC). In this role, she managed the NEC’s domestic policy team, which is responsible for coordinating and implementing the administration’s policy agenda on healthcare, tax, retirement policy, financial services, technology, cybersecurity, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, environment, and trade. She was previously the NEC’s Special Assistant to the President for Tax and Retirement Policy where she led the White House policy effort on tax reform, resulting in the first comprehensive tax reform law in more than 30 years.

Shahira spent 10 years in the private sector before joining the White House. She was Vice President of the Public Affairs and Policy Group at Fidelity Investments, where she represented the company before Congress and the administration during a time of significant legislative and regulatory change in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Fidelity, she was Managing Director at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a trade association representing more than 600 securities firms, banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, and asset managers.

Shahira served on the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years before joining the private sector. During her last three years on the committee, she was the Senior Advisor to the Chairman where she served as the chairman’s top policy advisor and directed all of the committee’s legislative operations. In this role, she was responsible for developing policy proposals, negotiating legislation, managing bills through all stages of the legislative process, and advising the chairman on legislative and political strategy. Prior to assuming this position, Shahira worked on the committee’s tax staff where she developed and drafted legislation dealing with retirement, insurance, health care, and a variety of business tax issues.

Shahira also worked at the Joint Economic Committee where she wrote policy papers on tax, retirement, economic, and budget issues. Her research was cited in a wide range of publications, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and National Public Radio.

Shahira was born in Egypt but has lived in the Washington, DC most of her life. She received her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Virginia and her Master of Arts degree in economics from George Mason University.


“Policymaking in Washington: From Congress to the White House”

Congress and the administration are responsible for writing laws and regulations that profoundly impact our economy, society, and the lives of millions of people. Yet the policymaking process is not well understood. Policy is often written by small groups of staffers and often influenced or shaped by a web of stakeholders, including lobbyists, special interests, constituents, think tanks, and activists. This seminar series will take you behind the scenes of the policymaking process in Washington to give you a better understanding of how policy is made and how different stakeholders influence the process. It will examine several policies and case studies – including President Obama’s reform of the health care system, President Trump’s reform of the tax code, and the policy battles that led to the 2018-19 government shutdown. By the end of the seminar, it is hoped that you will have a better understanding of the policymaking process, the different views that shape some of the country’s most impactful laws, and the diverse opinions surrounding some of the biggest policy issues we face today.

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