Former Senator and Senate Majority Leader
Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Tom Daschle graduated from South Dakota State University in 1969. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force where he served as an intelligence officer in the Strategic Air Command until mid-1972.
Following completion of his military service, Senator Daschle served on the staff of Senator James Abourezk. In 1978, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served for eight years. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and eight years later became its Democratic Leader. Senator Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic Leaders in history and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader. During his tenure, Senator Daschle navigated the Senate through some of its most historic economic and national security challenges.
In 2003, he chronicled some of these experiences in his book, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever. His most recent book The United States Senate: Fundamentals of Government was published in January 2013.
Today, Senator Daschle is a Senior Policy Advisor to the law firm of DLA Piper where he provides clients with strategic advice on public policy issues such as climate change, energy, health care, trade, financial services and telecommunications. Since leaving the Senate, he has distinguished his expertise in health care through the publications of two books. He has been published in Health Affairs, The New England Journal of Medicine, most major daily newspapers as well as many other respected publications.
He is a member of the Health Policy and Management Executive Council at the Harvard School of Public Health in addition to the Global Policy Advisory Council for the Health Worker Migration Initiative.
In 2007, he joined with former Majority Leaders George Mitchell, Bob Dole, and Howard Baker to create the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), an organization dedicated to finding common ground on some of the pressing public policy challenges of our time. Senator Daschle has co-chaired several BPC health task forces and issued numerous reports on health related, consensus driven health policy.
Senator Daschle serves as the Vice Chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
In addition, Senator Daschle’s board memberships include the Blum Foundation; the Energy Future Coalition, the Center for American Progress, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, Accumen, and Advisory Boards for Accenture, Zoc Docs.
Senator Daschle has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Massachusetts and South Dakota.