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Northwest alumna Rasheedah Hasan has served in varied roles in the U.S. Congress since 2016, and now is the chief clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Northwest alumna Rasheedah Hasan has served in varied roles in the U.S. Congress since 2016, and now is the chief clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Oct. 1, 2019

Hasan finding niche in politics, extending Bearcat network in capitol


Rasheedah Hasan never envisioned working in the political arena, but a legislative internship while she was a Northwest Missouri State University student steered her toward starting her career in the nation’s capitol.
A native of St. Louis, Hasan is eager to advance her career in Washington, D.C.

A native of St. Louis, Hasan is eager to advance her career in Washington, D.C.

She has served in varied roles in the U.S. Congress since 2016, and she was promoted in January to chief clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. In that role, she coordinates hearings and witnesses in collaboration with full committees and subcommittees. She oversees legislative procedures and records and reports information to the House.

“Northwest prepared me for building the mental willpower and the fortitude to persevere in the face of adversity,” Hasan said. “I don’t know that I would have gotten the same experience had I attended any other institution.”

A native of St. Louis, Hasan chose Northwest without taking the traditional campus tour. She saw the campus for the first time when she arrived for her new student orientation.

“When I arrived, I knew Northwest was where I needed to be at that time,” she said. “That's when I started to successfully move forward in my life and career.”

You don’t realize while in the moment what you have the capacity to achieve until it’s done. Northwest pushes you to develop that kind of grit. Of course, situations are challenging, especially when you’re in a new place, but Northwest gave me the confidence to say, ‘You can move anywhere you want, accomplish the unexpected and positively affect change.

Hasan was part of the M.O.R.E. mentorship program, which paired her with a mentor to help her navigate the challenges of adjusting to college life during her first year. Although she became a mentee as a sophomore, Hasan admits she was still struggling to find comfort in the college setting.

A friend suggested she apply for the Missouri legislative internship, which annually sends Northwest students to Jefferson City to gain experience with the legislative process and an understanding of how Missouri is governed. Hasan had watched family members involve themselves in politics – her father was a campaign strategist and her sister served as a state representative in the Missouri House – but she hadn’t intended to step into the field herself.

After a visit with Missouri Rep. Noel Torpey, who represented the state’s 29th district at the time, Hasan was accepted into the program and placed in his office at the Missouri capitol during the spring of 2014. The internship put her on the floor of the Missouri statehouse and provided Hasan with real-world experience – as well as a renewed sense of purpose.

When she finished her psychology degree at Northwest, she was eager to launch her career in Washington, D.C. She didn’t get a White House internship for which she interviewed but secured an internship opportunity with the public defenders service for the District of Columbia.

Hasan persevered and continued to share the résumé she crafted at Northwest with prospective employers. In the spring of 2016, the D.C. Office of Human Rights accepted her as a judicial fellow. Months later, that led to her first role on Capitol Hill as an intern with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, serving with the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Soon after, Hasan took her seat with the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

As a staffer with the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Hasan quickly found herself organizing a retreat for committee members to strategize and set goals for the Congress.

“You don’t realize while in the moment what you have the capacity to achieve until it’s done,” Hasan said. “Northwest pushes you to develop that kind of grit. Of course, situations are challenging, especially when you’re in a new place, but Northwest gave me the confidence to say, ‘You can move anywhere you want, accomplish the unexpected and positively affect change.”

In addition to her work on Capitol Hill, Hasan is active in the Northwest Alumni Association’s Washington, D.C., chapter.

“I love my Bearcat family, specifically the extended family I have in D.C.,” she said. “The strength of the alumni network helped me to feel supported, especially when I moved to a new place. They are there building you up, making sure you are OK, inviting you out, just so you can have fellowship and friendship. It is the Bearcat family we always speak of, and to see it in action in a new place is so life-changing.”


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704