Congresswoman Suzan DelBene represents Washington’s First Congressional District, which spans from northeast King County to the Canadian border, and includes parts of King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.
First sworn into the House of Representatives on Nov. 13, 2012, Suzan brings a unique voice to the nation’s capital, with more than two decades of experience as a successful technology entrepreneur and business leader. Her experience and focus on achieving concrete results allowed Suzan to break through congressional gridlock and get things done, earning her early praise from the Everett Herald, who called her “the most prolific, effective member of her freshman class.
Suzan currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is at the forefront of debate on taxes, healthcare and retirement security. There, Suzan is working to ensure all Americans have meaningful access to affordable, quality healthcare. She is also prepared to fight against attempts to dismantle Medicare, repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and slash Social Security benefits, all of which help millions of families. Instead of these dangerous proposals, Suzan believes Congress should build on the progress made by incentivizing high-quality patient care, reducing costs for small businesses and expanding access for our most vulnerable populations.
In addition, Suzan serves on the House Budget Committee where she is working toward a bipartisan, long-term budget solution that reduces our deficit and grows our economy. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and co-chair of the Women’s High Tech Caucus, Internet of Things Caucus, Dairy Caucus and Aluminum Caucus.
Suzan spent part of her early childhood in Newport Hills and Mercer Island before her father, an airline pilot, lost his job. After fourth grade, her family moved all over the country in search of work. With hard work and financial aid, such as student loans and work-study programs, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Reed College.
Following Reed, Suzan worked in the biotechnology industry before earning an MBA from the University of Washington and embarking on a successful career as a technology leader and innovator. In more than two decades as an executive and entrepreneur, she helped to start drugstore.com as its vice president of marketing and store development, and served as CEO and president of Nimble Technology, a business software company based on technology developed at the University of Washington. Suzan also spent 12 years at Microsoft, most recently as corporate vice president of the company’s mobile communications business.
Before being elected to Congress, Suzan served as Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue. During her tenure, Suzan proposed reforms to cut red tape for small businesses. She also enacted an innovative tax amnesty program that generated $345 million to help close the state’s budget gap, while easing the burden on small businesses.
Suzan’s mix of real world experience in the private and public sector gives her a deep understanding of how to build successful businesses, create jobs, implement real fiscal accountability and adopt policies that provide individuals with access to opportunity.
Some of Suzan’s accomplishment include:
- Fighting to secure emergency funding for Skagit Valley to immediately rebuild the I-5 bridge after it collapsed in May 2013.
- Passing legislation to ensure National Guard members retain health coverage when responding to state emergencies, such as the SR 530 landslide in Oso.
- Serving as the only Washington member on the bipartisan Farm Bill conference committee, which successfully negotiated a 5-year Farm Bill.
- Securing $200 million to expand job-training opportunities, including $22 million for Washington.
- Reining in the NSA to restore American’s privacy rights.
- Passing legislation to allow state, local and tribal governments, like Washington, to implement community-based substance use diversion programs to help address the opioid epidemic.
- Defending women’s access to healthcare and their right to choose.
Suzan and her husband, Kurt DelBene, have two children, Becca and Zach, and a dog named Reily.