Congresswoman Donna Shalala represents Florida’s 27th Congressional District, which includes much of Miami, succeeding a fifteen-term Republican incumbent. She is the oldest freshman in Congress and has had a long career in education in public service, serving as the President of Hunter College, the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran, and an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most significantly, she was the US Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration, where she oversaw the creation and implementation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). After leaving government service in 2001, Rep. Shalala returned to academia as president of the University of Miami, a post which she held for 14 years. She has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, received more than five dozen honorary degrees, and elected to seven national academies. In Congress, she serves on the House Committee on Rules and the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Rep. Shalala has a long history with Israel and the Jewish community, having visited the country many times over the course of her career. She is committed to actively supporting efforts to strengthen the bonds between the US and Israel through diplomatic, military, and intelligence sharing. She believes that a two-state solution is essential for the sustainable security and prosperity of both Israelis and Palestinians, and she sees an important role for the US to play in facilitating negotiations. Rep. Shalala opposes gratuitous cuts to humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians, and she supports continued US military aid to Israel. She is a cosponsor of House Resolution 326, which reaffirms Congress’s commitment to two-state solution and opposes settlement expansion and annexation.