The question of what Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will do as the nation’s first gentleman, was answered today: He will teach.Georgetown Law announced that the 56-year-old Emoff, for three decades a lawyer in private practice, will join its faculty this spring, teaching a class called “Entertainment Law Disputes.” In addition, Emhoff will serve as a Distinguished Fellow of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy, as part of a new entertainment and media law initiative that will include a speaker series and other projects. Emhoff is in the process of severing his ties to the law firm DLA Piper, where he is currently a partner.
“I am delighted that Douglas Emhoff will be joining our faculty,” Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor said in a statement issued Thursday. “Doug is one of the nation’s leading intellectual property and business litigators, and he has a strong commitment to social justice. I know our students will greatly benefit from his experience and insight, and I am eagerly looking forward to his arrival.” Georgetown Law is the largest law school in the United States.
“I’ve long wanted to teach and serve the next generation of young lawyers,” Emhoff said in the statement issued by Georgetown Law. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Georgetown community.”
A spokesperson for the Biden transition team told CNN the Emhoff’s teaching gig will be “separate and apart” from his position as second gentleman, and that he was still developing his portfolio for that role.
In terms of vice presidential spouses, there is a model of sorts for Emhoff—someone who will soon be residing in the White House. When Joe Biden was vice president, Dr. Jill Biden continued her teaching career, making her the first second lady to work full-time while her husband was in office. (Dr. Biden has said she will return to teaching after she officially becomes first lady, working as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College.)
This is not the first precedent Emhoff will set as second gentleman: He will also be the first Jewish person married to a U.S. president or vice president.
Harris and Emhoff have been married for six years. The couple, then both in their 40s, met on a date arranged in 2013 by Harris’s best friend. (Emhoff was a divorced father of two and Harris was single.) In her memoir, The Truths We Hold, Harris has written how difficult it was as a public figure to have a normal dating life. (When she met Emhoff, she was the attorney general of California.) “I knew that if I brought a man with me to an event, people would immediately start to speculate about our relationship,” Harris wrote. “I also knew that single women in politics are viewed differently than single men. We don’t get the same latitude when it comes to our social lives.”
It ended up being a whirlwind romance. The morning after their first date, Emhoff reportedly wrote Harris an email. “I’m too old to play games or hide the ball,” it said. “I really like you, and I want to see if we can make this work.” The two were married less than a year later in a civil ceremony held at the Santa Barbara courthouse on a Friday afternoon. Harris’s younger sister, Maya, officiated. Harris has since spoken of the close relationship she has developed with Emhoff’s two children, Cole and Ella. In her first appearance with Joe Biden after she joined the ticket as his running mate, Harris said, “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But Momala will always be the one that means the most.”
Among those applauding Emhoff’s news on Twitter was someone who also vied to be the nation’s first gentleman and who developed a close relationship with Emhoff on the 2020 campaign trail: Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of one-time presidential aspirant Pete Buttigieg.