Updated: Jun 8, 2020
TLG is proud to spotlight Youshea Berry, the Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Policy in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Youshea is a seasoned attorney with over 17 years of experience in foreign policy and law. At USAID, Youshea provides legal guidance on appropriations law and policy guidance to domestic and overseas staff. Youshea began her career at USAID as a Congressional Liaison Officer and was promoted to the Chief for Senate Affairs in the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs. In that role, she helped prepare and advise senior officials, including two Administrators, in nearly one hundred hearings and briefings before Congress. Her role drafting and implementing interagency legislative strategies helped institutionalize key Presidential Initiatives like Power Africa, which garnered bipartisan and bicameral congressional support with the passage of the Electrify Africa Act. Youshea also led USAID's congressional outreach for President Obama's U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit. Upon reflection on her time at USAID, Youshea notes “I am continually impressed and inspired by the passion, expertise and commitment of staff at USAID.”
In between stints on Capitol Hill, Youshea founded and managed a law firm practice advising corporations and nonprofit organizations on business transactions and commercial real estate. Youshea has received several awards and served on the boards of local and national bar associations, including on the Leadership Council of the Young Lawyers’ Division of the American Bar Association, which represents 150,000 young lawyers in the U.S. and abroad. She was also a recipient of the prestigious “ABA National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award." Youshea is a 2013 alum of the International Career Advancement Program and participated in the Partnership for a Secure America Program and the Truman National Security Scholars Program. She is a member of Black Professionals in International Affairs, the Thursday Luncheon Group, and the African American Federal Executives Association. Her advice for success is to “always be prepared to lead.”
Youshea earned her B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish from Xavier University of Louisiana. She earned a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in three jurisdictions and the U.S. Supreme Court. Youshea is a mother of two girls, wife of 15 years and a competitive triathlete in Olympic and half-ironman distances. She speaks Spanish and is currently studying Mandarin Chinese.