The son of immigrants, raised in a tenement building in Union City, Bob Menendez has earned the reputation of a resolute fighter for New Jersey families with a long track record of protecting the powerless from the powerful and ensuring fairness for every American.
As a lifelong public servant committed to the promise of America, Bob started his career by serving as a school board member, a mayor, and a state legislator. Elected to Congress in 1992 and becoming the first Latino to represent New Jersey in the Senate in 2006, Bob rose to become the highest-ranking Hispanic member in Congressional history having served as the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives and most recently as the Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 113th Congress.
In Washington, Senator Menendez is recognized as a passionate advocate and an effective legislator. He provides strong leadership with a common sense voice, deftly using his institutional knowledge to successfully build bipartisan support for legislative initiatives that break partisan gridlock and make a real difference in the lives of the people he proudly represents. From reforming Wall Street to combatingclimate change through renewable energy and fighting to close the gap between the rich and the poor, Bob has a deep-rooted commitment to pro-growth economic policies that increase wages, empower the middle class and foster social mobility in the twenty-first century.
He has provided Hispanic Americans with an unprecedented voice and vote in the making of our nation’s domestic and foreign policies. As the country’s largest ethnic minority, Bob makes sure the Hispanic community’s interests are reflected when shaping our nation’s laws for war and peace, jobs and the economy, education, health care, veterans’ issues, world affairs, transportation and housing. Throughout his career, Bob has worked tirelessly to harness the vast intellectual, cultural and entrepreneurial resources and contributions of our nation’s Latino community. His first book, Growing American Roots, released in October 2009, examines the deep influence of the Latino population on American society from his unique perspective as a Latino member of the Senate.
Bob has also established himself as a tireless champion and a dependable fighter for issues of utmost importance to our nation’s immigrants. He has been a leading proponent of comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken system, having been one of eight Senators who wrote and passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate in 2013. He has fought for decades to offer an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, keeping families together, and was a major force behind the push that gave young DREAMers relief through the creation of the DACA program.
To ensure that companies are doing more to put people of color in top leadership positions, Bob has conducted a bi-annual survey and report of Fortune 100 companies with recommendations for improving diversity in corporate America. As a leading voice in the debate that passed landmark health care reform to ensure every American who otherwise would not have coverage are able to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Bob is now at the forefront of the fight to protect the gains made under the ACA as he continues to seek ways that address health disparities and expand culturally competent health care for Latino families.
Bob currently serves as a senior member on the Senate Committees on Finance; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Foreign Relations. He is also the Ranking Member of the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development; and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
Born on New Year’s Day, 1954, Bob received his B.A. from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and his law degree from Rutgers University. He currently lives in Paramus and has two children, Alicia and Robert.