Shashrina Thomas, a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow
Shashrina Thomas is an experienced Hill staffer, having served as Chief of Staff to members from both parties. At present she’s responsible for setting the political and policy agenda at Reynolds American Inc’s operating companies.
Thomas began her career working for Representative Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) and later former Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio; Tubbs Jones became the first African-American female member to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Early Life and Education
Shashrina Thomas hails from Dayton, Ohio and has more than two decades of experience working as an educator and researcher. She has assisted international families adjusting to American school systems with unique cultural awareness due to her own life experience abroad and cultural identity – giving her insight into the challenges children must overcome to thrive in new environments. Shashrina served on the House Ways and Means Committee where she served as chief of Staff to Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama while also working for Representative Louis Stokes of Cleveland and Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Cleveland respectively.
Shashrina Thomas was in sixth grade when her mother made an ardent promise: she would teach her all she knew about politics – whether she liked it or not. That meant spending the day at the district office of then-U.S. Rep. Rhine McLin, an Ohio Republican.
After graduating Wright State University, she obtained an internship through The Washington Center, an organization which connects students to government and business positions. While interning, she interned for Louis Stokes – a deceased Ohio Democrat whose successor hired her on. Stephanie Tubbs Jones later hired her on as her intern.
Once graduated, she served as chief of staff to Reps. Carrie P. Meek, Sheila Jackson Lee and former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden; overseas she represented Congress before the Congressional Bundestag Energy Exchange in Germany, Ministry of National Defense China and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development France.
Achievement and Honors
Shashrina Thomas’ mother made an aggressive choice: she would force Shashrina to learn about government, no matter her feelings on it. That lesson would stay with Shashrina throughout her life.
Today, Thomas serves as chief of staff to Alabama Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell of the House Ways and Means Committee. She has previously worked with Ohio Dem Reps Louis Stokes and Stephanie Tubbs Jones and other lawmakers both inside and outside Congress.
As an expert of transactional and transformational thought leadership, bold thinking, and quality representation at the federal level, she blends diverse skills with ambition to world class performance in her pursuit of professional excellence that sets global standards in managing corporate affairs management.
Thomas has also served TRI-COR Industries by sitting on their board of directors, while also serving on the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation board – an organization dedicated to developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public. She serves on their legislative committee which seeks legislation supporting African-American communities.
In 1998, her mother signed her up to volunteer four hours every Thursday at Ohio Democrat Rep. Louis Stokes (who served as former CBC chairman). It proved an eye-opening introduction to government despite initial dislike.
After Stokes’ death, his successor Ohio Democrat Stephanie Tubbs Jones recommended her. Since then she has worked as staffer for both her and other House members including Reps Carrie Meeks and Sheila Jackson Lee as well as Alabama Democrat Terri Sewell on the Ways and Means Committee as chief of staff – becoming only the second ever female Chairperson on that panel.