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Short Bio

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas was elected to the United State House of Representatives in a 2007 special election, becoming the first woman in 25 years to serve in Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She represents the Massachusetts Third District (which had previously been known as the Fifth District until 2012). Tsongas holds the same seat that was held three decades earlier by her late husband, former Congressman, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas. The Third District spans across portions of Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties.

Congresswoman Tsongas’ work in the House of Representatives is motivated by a lifelong commitment to public service with deep ties to the communities she represents.  She has been actively involved in civic and charitable life since graduating college when she took her first job as a social worker in New York and throughout her adult life living and working in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Combining the deep tradition of military service running throughout her district with values instilled by her father, an Air Force Colonel who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tsongas is especially honored to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. As a senior member on this prestigious committee, and having previously served in a leadership position as the top Democrat on the subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations, she has championed the fight to combat and prevent sexual assault in the military, authoring multiple pieces of legislation that provide new tools to the armed forces and quicker, more effective support to victims. She has also led the push for modernized, lightweight and gender-specific body armor.  And, she has worked to grow the defense manufacturing base that is thriving in Massachusetts.

Congresswoman Tsongas has worked in a variety of ways to support small businesses, which she understands to be key to the economic development and job growth in the Third District, authoring legislation that provides tax relief and hiring assistance. One of her highest priorities has been encouraging the growth of the burgeoning community of innovative technology companies that have become a trademark of this region.

Tsongas also serves on the Natural Resources Committee, which formulates federal policy related to domestic energy production, National Parks, and the environment. In 2015, she was named to a leadership role as the top Democrat on the Federal Lands Subcommittee. The Third District is home to two National Historical Parks, National Heritage areas and a network of rivers protected under the Wild and Scenic River designation. 

Tsongas has made accessibility to the people she represents the hallmark of her office and spends most days that Congress is not in session hosting events such as Congress on your Corner and visiting with the residents and communities that make up the district.

Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, Tsongas served as a Dean at Middlesex Community College, practiced law, and raised her three daughters all in the region she now represents.