Growing up, Suzan saw her parents struggle to make ends meet.
Determined to arm herself with a quality education, Suzan worked her way through college and earned a bachelor's degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, with the help of student loans and financial aid. She later received a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Washington.
After college and graduate school, Suzan become a leader in technology and innovation.
Suzan embarked on a 12-year career at Microsoft. Among just a handful of women serving at the executive leadership level at Microsoft, Suzan worked as a corporate vice president running worldwide sales, marketing, and product management for the company's mobile technology business.
She also helped create drugstore.com as its original vice president of marketing and store development. She served as CEO and president of the startup company Nimble Technology.
Beyond her private sector experience, public service has always been central to Suzan's story. It is a key reason she decided to seek public office in the first place. She was an adviser to Global Partnerships, a microfinance non-profit focused on providing much-needed loans to help create economic opportunities for people living in poverty. She has also worked with the YWCA to build programs to provide transitional housing and job training to women and families struggling to get back on their feet.
In 2010, Suzan was appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire to be the Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue. During one of the most difficult budget challenges in state history, Suzan worked to streamline government and save money without cutting vital funding to programs that help low-income and middle-class families. She also traveled the state working with small businesses to develop solutions to simplify the tax code and reduce administrative burdens on taxpayers.
In Congress, Suzan has worked across the aisle to pass a five-year farm bill that was good for not only Washington's farmers, but also low-income families by stopping cuts to nutrition assistance and creating a job-training pilot program to help those on nutrition assistance become self-sufficient by giving them skills needed to increase earning potential.
Suzan has tirelessly fought to protect Americans' privacy by reforming outdated laws and reining-in government surveillance programs. She has also introduced legislation to make college more affordable and to scrap the income cap to keep Social Security solvent for more than 40 years.
With a lifetime of business experience and community service, Suzan brings a depth and history of achieving results that are essential in today's divisive political environment.
Suzan and her husband Kurt have two children and are proud to call the First District home.
Representing Washington's 1st Congressional District
What I Believe
Although our economy is on the road to recovery, income inequality in this country has never been greater. I believe we must do more to make sure we are building a vibrant economy that works for everyone and strengthens our middle class.
This is why we need – now more than ever – leaders who will place people above politics.
We need a leader who understands the power of innovation and who has the experience and determination to get things done in Washington, D.C. We need a leader who values creative and lasting solutions over empty partisanship. We need someone committed to the Democratic principles of honesty, integrity, equality of opportunity, and fair play. We need someone who will never lose sight of our shared commitment to the common good, but who also knows how to reach out across political divides to bring together diverse and competing interests to create progress.
After spending more than 20 years building innovation-based businesses that create good jobs for talented, hard-working men and women, I understand the role that government can play in fostering sustainable economic growth. This is why I’m a leader in the House of Representatives on passing comprehensive immigration reform and fighting to update our policies as technology evolves to support an innovation economy for the 21st century.
And growing up in a family where we struggled to make ends meet, and where I could not have gone to college without the help of financial aid and student loans, I know how important it is that we keep postsecondary education options open and accessible for all. That’s why I’m working hard to make sure that future generations have access to fair and reasonable student loans and financial aid so that higher education can be a reality for all who wish to pursue it. I was proud to lead the successful effort to roll back the doubling of student loan interest rates last year and of securing $200 million in job training funds to help low-income individuals get living-wage jobs. A well-educated, well-prepared and skilled workforce is key to being able to grow our middle class.
While we face some difficult circumstances today, I remain optimistic about our future. As I travel throughout the district, I’m inspired by all of the people I meet. Whether it’s a farmer in the Skagit Valley, a machinist at Boeing or a computer engineer in Redmond, they all share a commitment to working hard to build a better life for themselves and their families. They believe in investing in their communities to make them strong and vibrant. They care about giving their children educational opportunities that open the door to future success. They seek economic security for themselves but remain generous in their desire to help their neighbors, even when times are tough. These are our shared values and I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the great people of Washington’s First District in Congress.
I’m Suzan DelBene and I thank you for your support.