Iranian American Appointment on Capitol Hill
August 06, 2008
Mercedes Salem spotlighted in July 26, 2008 issue of the National Journal by Gregg Sangillo and Winter Casey
Sat. Jul 26, 2008
Source: National Journal
People On The Move
Mercedes Salem is the new legislative counsel for House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez, D-Calif. Salem, 33, comes with a background in anthropology, technology, and politics. She also speaks Farsi. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Santa Clara University. Intending to be a biochemistry major, Salem took an internship at the NASA Ames Research Center, where one of her responsibilities was working in an outreach program and helping to create a website for kids in the United States and Russia. This internship, combined with a part-time job at information-technology giant Fujitsu, kindled her interest in Web development and technology. She ended up majoring in anthropology, however, and still hopes to go on a dig in Africa some day. Salem earned a law degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law in 2005. As a little girl, she recalls, she always said was going to be “a gymnast, a lawyer, and a chef.” One out of three isn’t bad, she jokes. Her interest in Washington dates to a stint as a clerk at the Justice Department when she was in law school. Since then, Salem has served as a legislative fellow for Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., and as the speaker’s correspondent for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. In her free time, Salem enjoys traveling back to California and elsewhere, frequenting Tangysweet–a new frozen-yogurt place near Dupont Circle–and spending time with friends. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Iran, and Salem says she is proud to be an Iranian-American on Capitol Hill.