Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards
2015 Winter Commencement Speaker
Maryland's 4th Congressional District
Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards represents Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, comprising portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. She was sworn in after a special election to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 110th Congress in June 2008, becoming the first African American woman to represent Maryland in Congress.
Congresswoman Edwards has enjoyed a diverse career as a non-profit public interest advocate and in the private sector on NASA’s Spacelab project. In 1994, as co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, she led the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act that was signed into law by President Clinton.
Since being sworn in, Congresswoman Edwards has secured a number of legislative accomplishments to improve the lives of working families in her Congressional District and around the country. Her first act as a Member of Congress was to add Maryland to the Afterschool Suppers Program, ensuring access to nutritional suppers to afterschool and youth development programs in schools located in low-income areas. During the health care debate, Congresswoman Edwards secured a provision that holds insurance companies accountable for unjustifiable rate increases.
Congresswoman Edwards’ legislative work continues to focus on creating jobs, growing the economy, and increasing opportunity for hardworking families. She introduced legislation to expand research and development, domestic manufacturing, and infrastructure spending; increase high school graduation rates; renew Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals; reduce opioid overdose; and ensure quality, affordable child care. She has championed efforts to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, defend women’s rights and expand economic opportunity for women, raise awareness of domestic violence, and get unlimited money out of politics. She was the first Member of the House to introduce and champion a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
In the 114th Congress, Congresswoman Edwards serves:
On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where she sits on:
- The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
- The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
- The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
On the Science, Space, and Technology Committee where she sits on:
- The Subcommittee on Space - Ranking Member
- The Subcommittee on Environment
She was also selected by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) to serve as co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee and the chairwoman of the Democracy for All Task Force: Restoring People-Powered Politics. Rep. Edwards completed undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is the proud mother of one son.