Congresswoman Suzan DelBene represents Washington’s 1st Congressional District. She was first sworn into Congress on November 13, 2012.
An experienced and successful technology entrepreneur and business leader with over 20 years experience in the private sector, DelBene understands the critical role that innovative companies play in creating opportunities for citizens and the foundation for economic growth for communities.
As someone who grew up in a family that struggled with financial instability, she also knows that economic uncertainty isn’t just a question of money—it’s a matter of pride, confidence, and dignity.
DelBene 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. In that position, she ran worldwide sales, marketing, and product management for the company’s mobile efforts.
Outside of her private sector experience, Suzan has a strong record of public service. She served as a volunteer supporting the YWCA’s program to provide transitional housing and job training for struggling women and families. Suzan was a senior advisor to Global Partnerships, a non-profit focused on supporting microfinance programs to serve people living in poverty in Latin America.
In 2010, Suzan was appointed by Governor Gregoire to be the 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 and create jobs, implement real fiscal accountability, and adopt policies that enable individuals and businesses to thrive. She knows what is needed now to ensure that our nation and this region lead in creating high-wage 21st century jobs—great educational opportunities for our children and ongoing training for adults; a financial system that is fair, strong, and transparent; incentives that foster research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and a health care system that works for everyone. She is also someone who will work to break gridlock and get things done. It’s this depth of experience and focus on achieving concrete results that she brings to Congress.
Suzan is married to her husband Kurt and they have two college-aged children, Becca and Zach.