Our Honorary ChairsUnited States Senator, Arkansas
On January 7, 2003, Mark Lunsford Pryor was sworn in as Arkansas’ 33rd senator. As a candidate, he pledged to be a strong voice for the people of Arkansas; one who would always put their interests first. As a Senator, he works every day to fulfill that promise. Five generations of public service have made the Pryor name synonymous with Arkansas politics. Susie Newton Pryor, Mark’s grandmother, was the state’s first woman to seek public office after women were granted the right to vote. His father, David Pryor, served his country with distinction for 18 years as U.S. Senator for Arkansas.
Pryor was first elected to public office in 1990 as a member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives. In 1998 he was elected Arkansas’ Attorney General, making him the youngest chief law-enforcement officer in the nation. Pryor proved early on in his career that people matter more to him than politics. He worked with, and listened to, all interests to help make Arkansas a better place to live, work and raise a family. Pryor worked with Democrats and Republicans to toughen laws against drunk drivers, enact legislation to protect children on the Internet and to put in place the Morgan Nick Alert System, which helps to locate missing and exploited children.
Pryor built a record of standing up to special interests by taking on pharmaceutical and insurance companies, telemarketers, negligent nursing homes and many other powerful entities. He also filed over 1,000 criminal appeal briefs to ensure that convicted criminals serve their sentences and he worked to provide millions in compensation to crime victims.
Pryor currently sits on the Senate Governmental Affairs and Senate Armed Services committees where he works with the newly formed Department of Homeland Defense to protect the nation from the threat of domestic terrorism and with the Department of Defense to ensure that our men and women in uniform have all of the resources they need to defend our country.
As a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the Senator proudly promotes the interests of those state enterprises he calls “Arkansas’ economic backbone.”
In addition, Pryor will continue in his role as an advocate for our children and the elderly. He supports expanding health care for the under- and un-insured and directing more federal resources to education.
Pryor was born in Fayetteville on January 10, 1963 and grew up in both Arkansas and Washington D.C. He received a B.A. in History and his law degree from the University of Arkansas and worked in private legal practice for eight years. He and his wife, Jill, have a son and a daughter, Adams and Porter.