Chief of Staff or Administrative Assistant
This staff member reports directly to the Member of Congress and usually has overall responsibility for evaluating the political outcomes of various legislative proposals and constituent requests. The chief of staff or administrative assistant (known as the “AA”) is usually the person in charge of overall office operations, including the assignment of work and the supervision of key staff.
Legislative Director, Legislative Counsel, Legislative Assistant, Legislative Correspondent
The legislative director (the “LD”) is usually the staff person who monitors the legislative schedule and makes recommendations regarding the pros and cons of particular issues. Responsibility for legislative analysis is assigned to the counsel or legislative assistants (LAs) who have particular expertise in specific areas. Depending on the responsibilities and interests of the member, an office may have separate LAs assigned to health, the environment, taxes, etc., as well as legislative correspondents (LCs) who draft letters on pending legislation.
Committee Staff and Fellows
Committee staffers often develop in-depth knowledge about highly complex legislation and policies. The staff of committees often includes individuals with specialized education and experience called "fellows." They are paid through fellowships sponsored by academic institutions, foundations, or interest groups. Fellows may spend six months to a year working on general committee issues or specific pieces of legislation.
Communications Director or Press Secretary
The communications director’s responsibility is to build and maintain open and effective lines of communication between the member and constituents and the general public.
Scheduler, Appointment Secretary, or Personal Secretary
The scheduler is usually responsible for apportioning a member’s time among the many demands of congressional responsibilities and constituent requests. The scheduler may also be responsible for making necessary travel arrangements, arranging speaking engagements and visits to the district, etc. Don't underestimate the importance of this person!
The caseworker usually works in the member’s district office. The caseworker’s responsibilities include helping resolve problems presented by constituents that involve federal agencies. There are often several caseworkers in a district office.
Other staff in a congressional office may include an office manager, staff assistant, receptionist, and interns.