Madam Secretary

Who’s who on Madam Secretary - Season 3 (currently on DStv) with the first two seasons on ShowMax.

Who’s who on Madam Secretary? If you're not yet caught up with Season 3 (currently on M-Net and DStv Catch Up), you can watch the first two seasons on ShowMax.



Since Dr Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) first appeared as a sharply dressed, fiercely smart siren with excellent hair on our screens in Madam Secretary, we’ve had serious aspirations of running for office - or, at least, of becoming Secretary of State of the United States when we grow up.

But we know we’d get nowhere without Dr McCord’s crew, who give us #squadgoals of note. Most Secretaries of State would fire their predecessor’s personnel and hire their own team - but as a Washington outsider, Elizabeth made the first of her many shrewd but difficult decisions to keep the existing staff on board, and to win them over.

In case you haven’t joined the party yet, here’s the brief on who’s who in Bess McCord’s crew.

Nadine Tolliver, Chief of Staff


Having had a six-year-long romantic affair with the previous Secretary of State, Vincent Marsh, it’s no wonder Nadine (Bebe Neuwirth) is less than keen to serve under Elizabeth McCord, who takes up the role as Secretary at the request of the President after Marsh’s sudden death. But it doesn’t take long for the no-nonsense Nadine to come round to Elizabeth’s way of doing things.
What she’s good for: Nadine knows the ropes, having worked for Vincent Marsh since she graduated from law school, and her knowledge of DC protocol is invaluable to Elizabeth, the newbie. Her deadpan sense of humour and the fact that she’s at least as tough and smart as her boss, helps keep Elizabeth sane.
Her best line:
Elizabeth: "How’d I do?"
Nadine: "Well, no one’s launched any missiles at us yet."


Daisy Grant, Press Coordinator to the Secretary of State


Played by the gorgeous Patina Miller, Daisy is probably the best-dressed person on the show, with the most complicated relationships. Formerly engaged to a lobbyist and now sharing an office with colleague Matt Mahoney, we can’t help but think that they might start sharing more than that very soon.
What she’s good for: Daisy has no problem speaking truth to power, and is not afraid to tell it like it is to her boss … or anyone else. She handles stressful press events with poise, and never seems to get flustered - just looking at her serene face and perfectly pressed suits would help you keep calm in even the biggest international diplomacy disaster.
Her best line:
(To Elizabeth) "There are three words that can never go together in this town: “boss”, “internship” and “sex”."


Matt Mahoney, Speechwriter to the Secretary of State


You might not think it to look at him, but nerdy Matt Mahoney (Geoffrey Arend) has a secret - he was bribed by POTUS’s conniving Chief of Staff to spy on the previous Secretary of State in return for a job in the White House. Will he have the nerve to spy on Elizabeth as well, especially after Vincent Marsh’s mysterious and untimely death?
What he’s good for: Matt’s got a way with words unrivalled by anyone in the team - except maybe Elizabeth herself - and he prides himself on having the quickest wit on the hill. And, although he had no problem spying on Marsh, he is hesitant to do the same to Elizabeth … which could work in Elizabeth’s favour.
His best line:
Elizabeth, about the King of Swaziland: "He’s a polygamist."
Matt: "We’re not using that word."
Elizabeth: "So what are we calling it?"
Matt: "It falls under “cultural diversity”."


Blake Moran, Personal Assistant to the Secretary of State


Blake (Erich Bergen) is the only member of her staff that Elizabeth personally brought on. His desk is right outside her office, and he’s supposed to screen all her appointments and accompany her wherever she goes, but his reserved nature means he’s not always completely successful at putting his foot down on Elizabeth’s behalf.
What he’s good for: He’s probably the only staffer who’s 100% loyal to Elizabeth from the beginning. She needs an ally in her staff when she first takes up office, and that’s exactly what Blake is.
His best line:
Elizabeth: "Why don’t you hate me?"
Blake: "Because you hired me. And you’re awesome ... I may have inadvertently reversed those."


Michael “Mike B” Barnow, consultant


While not technically on Elizabeth’s staff, Mike B (Kevin Rahm) consults Elizabeth on matters of staff, protocol, diplomacy, and, as she realises he’s indispensable, just about everything else. He’s brought in to reorganise her department, and the other staffers immediately resent and fear him. He doesn’t mince his words, and doesn’t care what people think about him.
What he’s good for: Having spent years moving between various State Departments, Mike B knows which way is up in Washington. He has no qualms in delivering bad news and harsh critiques on both Elizabeth’s staff, and Elizabeth herself, which keeps everyone in check.
His best line:
Elizabeth: "You’re giving me that “you’re an idiot” look."
Mike: "Because you’re an idiot!"


Special mention: Henry McCord


Henry (Tim Daly) the Secretary’s husband, and, although he’s not a paid member of her staff, is absolutely vital to her success. He’s not threatened by her “masculine energy” or her smarts, and helps to keep her on an even keel both at home and in her job.
What he’s good for: He supports Bess no matter what, and his belief in her ability to do this job, for which she constantly feels unprepared, is unwavering. He’s also really handsome.
His best line:
"When everything seems to be lacking in integrity, you find it in yourself."


Go to to sign up for a 14-day free trial, and start streaming or downloading Seasons 1 and 2 of Madam Secretary before you watch Season 3 on DStv Catch Up.