Two FAMU Graduates Lead Congressional Staffs

Florida A&M graduates Virgil Miller and Tasha Cole are serving as chiefs-of-staff for two lawmakers in Congress.

“I think it is good that the graduates have been appointed. Anytime somebody is recognized on a national level it is good for the university,” said Anthony Reel, 19, a sophomore economics student from Atlanta.

Miller, a Palm Beach native, will lead the staff for Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans).

“After my interview, I knew that I wanted to work for him [Richmond],” Miller told the Washington Post. “Mr. Richmond’s passionate about restoring his hometown, and brings an amazing amount of energy and creativity to Congress.”

While at FAMU, Miller was elected student body president of the Student Government Association and served on the Board of Trustees.

Miller earned his Bachelor of Arts in biology in 2003 and his Master’s in Public Health in 2005. While working on his master degree, Miller interned with then-state Rep. Curtis Richardson of Tallahassee.

In 2006, Miller left for Washington D.C. as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in the office of Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY). While working under Towns, Miller aided in developing Towns’ health policy portfolio and informed Towns on health care issues.

According to a press release from FAMU’s Office of Communication, in 2007 Miller joined the House Energy and Commerce Committee and in 2009 served as a health-policy advisor to Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.).

Cole, who has worked in Washington D.C. since 2002, was appointed as chief of staff for Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami).

“I’ve been in D.C. for eight years,” Cole said. “There’s a hectic pace and you are in the middle of everything that is going on in the country. It can be very humbling when you can be a part of decisions on health care and tax reform.”

Cole, an Alabama native, graduated from FAMU in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism. Before starting her political career as an outreach director for the Florida Democratic Party, Cole worked for several years as a documentary producer and television reporter for a statewide public-affairs program and as a media relations consultant for non-profit organizations and associations according to according to the press release.

Cole served as senior adviser to former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, where she worked since he was first elected to Congress and in 2003.

“The graduates worked hard in college and have made the right connections. This shows progress for the university,” said Orze Killgo, 18, a first-year student from Washington, D.C.