Tonya Williams, Director, Legislative Affairs

Office of the Vice President (©2013 Richard A. Bloom)

Biden is one of the most influential vice presidents in modern history, spearheading, among other Capitol Hill efforts, a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and a push to reduce gun violence. Williams is at the center of that success. The 39-year-old Greenville, N.C., native is a longtime veteran of Tar Heel State politics. She is a former chief of staff to Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., whom she also served as a floor assistant. She has also had stints as a general counsel to the president of the North Carolina state Senate and a staff attorney for Legal Aid of North Carolina. A University of North Carolina graduate who also attended UNC's law school, Williams joined the Office of the Vice President in November 2011. It was a unique opportunity, she said, to interact with both the legislative and the executive branches of the federal government. "Working for the vice president is a tremendous honor and privilege in and of itself," she said. "But being able to work at the intersection of the two branches of government provides a unique perspective and opportunity to influence law and policy in a way that I will certainly never have in any other job or career."