Roger Sherman started working for Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., as his defense and foreign-affairs staffer back in 1990—one week before the first Gulf War started.
“It was a pretty dramatic entrance,” recalls Sherman, 46, who was two years out of Amherst College. Sherman left for Harvard Law School in 1992, followed by 12 years working on telecommunications policy in Washington, first at the law firm Wiley Rein and then at Sprint.
When Democrats regained control of the House in 2007 and Waxman took up the gavel in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Sherman rejoined his old boss as Waxman took on a slew of high-profile investigative hearings. In 2009, Waxman became chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Within days of taking over, we were doing the Recovery Act,” Sherman said.
Now in the minority, Sherman’s job has calmed. He oversees the day-to-day committee operations and guides work on telecommunications policy. “It’s a drag losing the majority,” he said. “But when you work for a guy like Henry Waxman, you’re still going to be influential.”