Congressman Chris Van Hollen was born January 10, 1959, the son of a U.S. Foreign Service officer from a family with long Maryland roots. A 1982 graduate of Swarthmore College and a 1985 graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Chris went on to work as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee while he completed night law school at Georgetown University Law Center. In 1990 Chris was elected to a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates and went on to distinguish himself in the Maryland House and then Senate where he served for 12 years. His strong legislative record in Annapolis earned him the praise of the Washington Post as “one of the most effective members of the Maryland legislature”. While a State Senator, he served as vice-chair of the Senate Budget Committee, where he made a name for himself as a champion of our public schools, the Chesapeake Bay, and people with disabilities.
Elected to the U. S. House of Representatives 10 years ago, Chris Van Hollen has continued to focus his energies on strengthening our communities, fighting for improvements in health care, education and the environment, and making sure that we are growing our economy, strengthening working families and meeting our commitments to our nation’s children.
Chris has played a central role in the recent unprecedented legislative agenda of the U.S. Congress, including passage of historic Health Care Reform; Wall Street Reform and House passage of the Clean Energy Bill. He was proud to join with his colleagues in working to get America moving in the right direction through the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and related measures designed to support job growth and turn around the worst economic crisis our country has faced since the Great Depression.
A staunch believer in transparency and open government, Chris has consistently championed campaign reform efforts. Chris has also fought for stronger government accountability and transparency measures to ensure taxpayer money is being spent wisely, including efforts to reform the process by which Congress directs spending on projects.
Chris is widely recognized as a leader on energy and environmental policy. The Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, Chris is the author of the ‘Cap-and-Dividend’ bill that would remit the auction proceeds of cap and trade to households in the form of a monthly dividend. He also introduced legislation to create a government-backed ‘Green Bank” to reinvigorate the market for funding renewable energy projects. He authored the National Home Energy Savings Revolving Fund Act, a federal bill that would encourage homeowners interested in shifting to energy-efficient systems in their residential homes. In 2008 Chris was proud to lead the successful effort to secure a historic increase in federal funds for Chesapeake Bay cleanup.
A tireless advocate for Maryland in the U.S. Congress, Chris’ leadership has helped to obtain funding for a wide range of projects to benefit our local community, including efforts to reduce gang violence; address traffic mitigation around federal properties in the local area; invest in science, biotechnology, and education; and improve public transportation in the suburban Maryland and National Capitol area.
Chris has been recognized by numerous organizations for his leadership and advocacy on a wide range of issues. He was recognized in July 2010 by Washingtonian Magazine as the ‘Best Metro Area Member of Congress’ and in 2008 as the ‘Best Local Elected Official” by Bethesda Magazine. He is the 2009 recipient of the Champion for Working Families Award from Progressive Maryland and the 2009 Legislator of the Year Award from the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been honored with the 1st Annual Climate Champion of the Year Award from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network for his contribution to clean energy policies, and the Community Health Superhero Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers for his efforts on behalf of the nearly 15 million uninsured and medically underserved Americans that rely on Community Health Centers for vital primary care services. He has consistently been recognized by the National Education Association for his support of education issues and the American Association of University Women for his attentiveness to special issues facing education of women and girls.
In addition, Chris is proud to have received a number of awards from organizations committed to the mental and physical health of our citizens, including Easter Seals of the Greater Washington-Baltimore Region, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Mental Health Association of Maryland, Blinded American Veterans, the National Down Syndrome Society and many others.
Chris Van Hollen continues to work tirelessly in Congress for America and the people of the 8th District. A long time resident of Kensington, Maryland, Chris and his wife Katherine are the proud parents of Anna, Nicholas and Alexander.