Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly is serving his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District, which includes Fairfax County, Prince William County, and the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia. Prior to his election to Congress, he served 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, including five years as Chairman. Throughout his career, protecting and growing Northern Virginia’s economy has been his top priority.
In Congress, he has played a key role in securing federal dollars for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening the Prince William County Parkway, providing ongoing support for Rail to Dulles, and securing the annual federal commitment of $150 million for the regional Metro system.
Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and serves as the Ranking Democratic of the Subcommittee on Government Operations. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, including federal workforce and federal agency oversight, federal procurement and information policy, national drug policy, regulatory reform, the United States Postal Service, the United States Census Bureau, and the District of Columbia.
Congressman Connolly also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.
Congressman Connolly co-authored the bipartisan Issa-Connolly Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which was signed into law in 2014, and represents the first major overhaul of the federal laws governing IT management since enactment of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. In 2016, Connolly passed the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, which allows temporary employees of land management agencies to now be eligible for civil servant positions. He also helped pass the Telework Enhancement Act, which requires the federal government to increase the use of telework by federal employees to ensure continuity of operations by federal agencies during emergency situations, enhance recruitment of a quality federal workforce, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the region’s air quality.
For his efforts, he has twice been recognized as a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 winner, was named the 2013 FedScoop Tech Champion of the Year, the 2015 FCW Eagle Award recipient, and received the AFFIRM Award for Leadership in the IT community.
He has also introduced important legislation to streamline and improve our election system, find savings in federal IT procurement and data center consolidation, and reform U.S. Foreign Aid.
In addition to his Committee assignments, Congressman Connolly serves as Whip for the New Democrat Coalition, chair of the Smart Contracting Caucus, co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Georgia and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Taiwan.
Prior to his election to Congress, Congressman Connolly served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, the largest jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C. metro area with more than 1.1 million residents. He earned a reputation as a pragmatic leader for his initiatives to expand affordable housing opportunities, reduce gang violence, promote reusable energy, and advance critical transportation improvements. During his tenure as Chairman, Fairfax was recognized as a Best Managed County.
Congressman Connolly received an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1979. He received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Congressman Connolly has worked in the non-profit sector, primarily advocating for hunger aid and international assistance. He also has strong ties to the business community having spent two decades working for organizations and companies involved in international trade, regulatory matters, technology, and research.
He resides in Fairfax with his wife Cathy and has a daughter Caitlin.