At a Glance
- Career History:
Deputy Chief of Staff for Senate Minority Leader
(January 2007-February 2010); Deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (2004 to 2006); Republican staff director to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (2003 to 2004); Senior Policy Adviser to Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (2001 to 2002); Senior policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (1999 to 2001)
- Birthday: 1961
- Alma Mater: University of Virginia, B.A., 1983
- DC Office: 361-A Russell Senate Office Building, 202-224-2541
- Web site
Path to Power
Soderstrom came to Washington, D.C., straight out of college. Born in Stony Brook, N.Y., Soderstrom earned a degree in English from the University of Virginia in 1983 and took a job as a legislative assistant to then-Sen. Paul Trible (R-Va.), where she was primarily in charge of education, labor and small business issues.
Trible only served one term in the Senate, and when he left, Soderstrom started in Sen. Dan Coats' (R-Ind.) office as a legislative assistant for special projects. She moved up through the ranks, becoming a staff assistant to the Labor and Human Resources Committee and eventually taking the job of Coats' chief of staff in 1996.
Soderstrom works primarily on domestic policy. But her real expertise is Senate floor procedure. She has worked in high-level staff positions for three Republican Senate leaders, so she knows how to move legislation - or perhaps more importantly, obstruct it when necessary.
Soderstrom has been in both the minority and the majority, and, in addition to managing McConnell's staff, her responsibilities have included supervising bill negotiations through the entire Senate process. That process requires her to work closely with other lawmakers and their top aides to flag no-win votes and to pinpoint lawmakers who are on the fence. She has also served as a liaison between her boss and the House Republican leadership, as well as ranking GOP members on committees.
Soderstrom has worked for some of the most powerful Republicans in the Senate. She spent three years with Trent Lott, two years with Judd Gregg and two years with Bill Frist. Since 2006, she has been in Mitch McConnell's office, where she works closely with Chief of Staff Kyle Simmons and Communications Director Don Stewart.