Dubai: A Jordanian-American Muslim woman, originally Palestinian, has become deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Reema Dodin will be joining President-elect Joe Biden’s Legal Affairs team in January 2021, becoming the first Arab American woman to hold this position.
Dodin currently serves as deputy chief of staff and floor director to the Senate Democratic Dick Durbin. She previously served as Senator Durbin’s floor counsel and research director. Dodin also served as an aide to the Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, which Durbin chaired.
In January 2021, her role in the Biden administration will make her the highest ranking Palestinian-American to serve in the Executive Office of the US President.
Parents immigrated from Dura
She was born in North Carolina to Palestinian-Jordanian parents, Bajis and Samia Dodin. Her parents immigrated in the 1960s from Dura, Hebron in the West Bank. Her grandfather is Mustafa Dodin, a social affairs minister in Jordan who was involved Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the 1970s.
Dodin earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in political science and economics in 2002. During her university education, she participated in pro-Palestinian activism. In 2006, Dodin interned in Dick Durbin’s office. That same year, she earned her juris doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
She volunteered for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.