Our Honorary ChairsMember, U.S. House of Representatives, CA
A leading Congressional expert on terrorism, homeland security and foreign affairs, Jane Harman was first elected in 1992 to represent California’s 36th Congressional district, which runs along the LA County coastline from Venice to San Pedro and hugs the Los Angeles International Airport and Port of Los Angeles. Portrait of Congresswoman Harman
In 2006, Harman completed eight years of service on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – the final four as Ranking Member – where she played a lead role in the creation and passage of the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, and was a familiar voice and frequent Administration critic on Iraq post-war policy and the need for a legal framework for post 9/11 policy on detentions, interrogations, and the government’s surveillance of American citizens.
The final legislative act of the 109th Congress was passage of Harman’s SAFE Port Act of 2006, a bipartisan bill that creates a layered container security strategy for America’s ports and provides much-needed grant funding for long-term security projects.
In the 110th Congress, her seventh term, Harman remains a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee (and Chair of its Intelligence, Information-Sharing & Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee) and has returned to the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, where she serves on the Telecommunications & the Internet and Energy & Air Quality Subcommittees.
In addition to her focus on security issues, Harman is a leader in the House and the California congressional delegation on environmental policy. Her voting record in opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or off California’s coastline, on a woman’s right to choose, and issues of interest to the gay and lesbian community has earned her 100% scores from advocacy groups like the California League of Conservation Voters, NARAL and the Human Rights Campaign.
Prior to her election to Congress, Harman worked as an attorney, served as deputy secretary to the Cabinet in the Carter White House and as special counsel to the Department of Defense. Harman began her career on Capitol Hill as chief counsel and staff director for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.
While out of Congress from 1999-2000, following an unsuccessful bid for Governor of California, Harman was named Regent’s Professor at UCLA teaching public policy and international relations, and served on the National Commission on Terrorism.
A graduate of Los Angeles public schools, Harman has a B.A. from Smith College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is married to Sidney Harman, founder and Executive Chairman of Harman International Industries. She has four adult children, and one grandchild.