Emerge Virginia Hires Delegate Danica Roem as Executive Director

  • Feb 16, 2022
  • kaleb


February 16, 2022

CONTACT: Kaleb Harmon ; kaleb@emergeamerica.org

Emerge Virginia Hires Delegate Danica Roem as Executive Director

VIRGINIA — Emerge Virginia, the commonwealth’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announced today that Danica Roem will serve as the organization’s next executive director. In this role, Roem will oversee the strategy and operations of Emerge Virginia: recruiting for and running Emerge Virginia’s signature training program, supporting alumnae running for office, and helping ensure women from the New American Majority  across Virginia are ready to step into leadership.

I’m so grateful to serve as Emerge Virginia’s next executive director and lead our efforts to recruit, train and elect Democratic women in Virginia,” said Roem. “As an Emerge alumna, I’ve seen firsthand how Emerge serves to empower communities across Virginia. Emerge has been essential at flipping seats held by decades-long Republican incumbents, providing a powerful sisterhood for us to lean on and grow with, and inspiring Democratic women to run. As more Democratic women step up, Emerge will help guide them every step of the way as we transform what elected offices look like in our commonwealth. I’m excited to lead this incredible organization and can’t wait to see what’s possible with even more powerful Democratic women leading the way.”

“I am incredibly excited to have Danica Roem join us as the next Executive Director of Emerge Virginia,” said A’shanti F. Gholar, President of Emerge. “Danica is a trailblazer with a proven track record. Her journey and leadership have inspired countless Emerge alumnae to step up to run and win, and we know she’s going to bring those skills to empower diverse communities across the commonwealth. Through her efforts, Emerge will reach thousands more women of the New American Majority–women of color, Black, Brown and Indigenous women, young, LGBTQ+ and unmarried women–repower political structures, and foster a lift as you climb culture as we reach for our future together. We are proud to add her to our amazing team and know she will be a perfect leader for Emerge Virginia.”

Before taking this role, Roem was closely involved with Emerge as an alum attending the 2017 Boot Camp and using what she learned to run and win in her very first campaign. Following her 2017 election, Roem became the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history, unseating a 13-term incumbent. Her win was critical to flipping the House of Delegates from red to blue in 2019 for the first time in two decades.

Roem’s headshot and full bio can be found below:


Danica Roem is a lifelong Virginian from Manassas and an alumna of Emerge Virginia’s 2017 bootcamp program. Danica worked as a community newspaper reporter for 10.5 years, authoring more than 2,500 news stories about her home community of Prince William County as the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times / Prince William Times from 2006-2015 before working as the news editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel (Md.) from 2015-2016.

Danica also spent 3.5 years covering state and federal campaigns for The Hotline in Washington, D.C. from 2009-2013 and 1.3 years writing about the yoga industry for a non-profit organization from 2013-2014. In 2017, Danica ran for the 13th District of the Virginia House of Delegates, won a four-way Democratic primary, and then unseated a 13-term Republican incumbent who described himself as the “chief homophobe” of Virginia to become the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history. She is now serving her third term, representing western Prince William County and the City of Manassas Park.

Away from journalism and politics, Danica spent 12 years fronting heavy metal bands from 2005-2017 and ran her own mobile yoga studio set to a heavy metal soundtrack in 2014. She is also the author of her memoir, “Burn the Page.” (Viking/PRH) 


Emerge Virginia has a proven track record for getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2014, the program has equipped 198 women with the skills needed to bring change to their communities. 26 alumnae currently serve in office in Virginia with 12 alumnae serving in the House of Delegates including Danica Roem. The organization is committed to reaching 100,000 women of the New American Majority, repowering political structures, and fostering a lift as you climb culture over the next 15 years. Nationwide, there are currently 27 state affiliates, and the organization has impacted a total of 45 states, Washington, D.C. and territories.

Danica Roem officially starts at Emerge Virginia on February 22nd. For further information or press and media requests, contact Kaleb Harmon at kaleb@emergeamerica.org.