Joe Gaeta is Director of Oversight and Engagement at Democracy Forward.

Joe comes to Democracy Forward with over twenty years of experience as a lawyer in state and federal government.  Most recently, he was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs, serving as DOJ’s liaison to Congress on oversight, nominations, and legislation. Joe previously served as a Trial Attorney in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ, litigating fair housing cases across the country.  

Between stints at DOJ, Joe worked in several roles in the United States Senate.  He was Chief Counsel of the Budget Committee under Chairman Kent Conrad, where he played a key role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act.  A proud native of the biggest little state in the Union, Joe served as Legislative Director, Oversight Director, and Chief Counsel for Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, where he focused on issues related to the influence of special interests on the judiciary and Congress.  Earlier in his career, Joe worked for then-Attorney General Whitehouse in the Civil Division of the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General.  

Joe began his legal career clerking for Judge Myron Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama.  He received his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was Order of the Coif, has a M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics, and has a B.A. magna cum laude in History and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.