Elizabeth King: Majority staff director, Senate Armed Services Committee
Elizabeth King, the majority staff director to the Senate Armed Services Committee, hardly gets a break.
The new year has barely just rung in when the committee begins working on one of the biggest pieces of annual legislation in Congress — the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The NDAA is a yearlong project with King at the helm, pushing the congressional committee staff to stay focused even as the world’s affairs are knocking for attention.
“One of the biggest challenges is keeping the ball moving forward,” King said. “You can get taken so off track by something that happens in the news or if you get a call from the Pentagon.”
For King, the most intense time of the year is actually the first phase of the NDAA, when committee staff are working to address a list of needs and requests from lawmakers and get it all out on paper.
King has served as staff director for Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the current committee chairman, since 2015, starting out in the position when her party was in the minority.
She describes the work as more demanding when in the majority, which is in charge of drafting the daily schedule, planning the hearings and setting the pace of the conference.
King directs the congressional staff serving the committee, but she says the magic happens naturally.
“This is the best job, and I love the committee,” she said. “I think it’s such an honor to work for the Armed Services Committee, which is bipartisan and remains bipartisan.”
“And it takes a lot of special people,” King added. “We have the most unbelievable staff.”