Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Full Biography

HONORABLE SHEILA JACKSON LEE

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is an influential and forceful voice in Washington.  She is serving her tenth term (20 years) as a member of the United States House of Representatives. She represents the 18th Congressional District of Texas, centered in Houston, which is the energy capital of the world.  Considered by many as the “Voice of Reason”, she is dedicated to upholding the Constitutional rights of all people.

During Congresswoman Jackson Lee’s tenure in Congress she has served on various Committees including the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, and Judiciary.  In the 110th and 111th Congress, Congresswoman Jackson Lee served as Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection. As Chairwoman, Congresswoman Jackson Lee was a leader in support of enhanced technology, better intelligence, increased airplane cargo inspections, increased security for railroads, and implementation of the 9/11 Commission report.   She currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.  Congresswoman Jackson Lee is also a senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee where she is a leader on Bullying Prevention.  She was the lead sponsor of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act of 2011 and is leading the fight once again with her current bill HR 5770 with support from producers Harvey Weinstein and Lee Hirsch - producers of the film ‘Bully’.  She also led the fight for passage of the Fair Sentencing Act and this year garnered unanimous support to amend the 2012 Defense Authorization Bill that creates a day of honor for the return of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  She has authored several immigration bills, such as H.R. 750, the "Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act", which sets forth a comprehensive and humane solution to the immigration problem, introduced legislation to enhance federal enforcement of hate crimes with H.R. 254, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act, played a significant role in the renewal and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, and contributed an amendment to the NASA reauthorization bill that will ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged students to NASA’s education programs.  In addition, Congresswoman Jackson Lee  launched the Dr. Mae C. Jemison Grant Program to work with institutions serving minorities to bring more women of color in the field of space and aeronautics.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee has received numerous honors during her career in public service, including the US Dream Academy Legacy Award, the National Bankers Association Foundation  Excellence Award, the Martin Luther King National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. Champion of Courage Award, the Livingstone College Doctor of Humane Letters, the National Association of Negro Business Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award, the Award for Policy at the 16th Annual Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards, the Drum Major Award for Public Service by the Revelation Urban Development Institute, the National Minority Quality Forum Lifetime Achievement Award and the Houston Community College Joyce M. Reynolds award just to name a few.  In recognition of her outstanding contributions to Science, the National Technical Association (NTA) of Scientists and Engineers honored the Congresswoman with its Top Women in the Sciences Award. She was also awarded the "Legislator of the Year" by the National Mental Health Association for her outstanding work on mental health legislation.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a frequent guest on network and cable news including Face the Nation and MSNBC.  She is a founder, member, and co-chair of the Congressional Children's Caucus and has served several years as a member of the Democratic Caucus Health Care Task Force.  Additionally, she serves on numerous Caucuses including the Azerbaijan Caucus, the Pakistan Caucus, and the Afghan Caucus. She has been hailed by Ebony magazine as one of the "100 Most Fascinating Black Women." "Congressional Quarterly" named her as one of the 50 most effective Members of Congress and "U.S. News and World Report" named her as one of the 10 most influential legislators in the House of Representatives.  Her hometown newspaper, the "Houston Chronicle" named her as one of the most influential and prolific legislators on Capitol Hill.  Most recently, she was named the Member of Congress with the largest and most impressive vocabulary based on the words that may be found on the SAT.  Congresswoman Jackson Lee has served in a number of positions in the Congressional Black Caucus including 1st Vice Chair, Chair of the Energy Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Redistricting Task Force for the 112th Congress.  She also represents the Congressional Black Caucus on immigration reform issues. 

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee earned a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University with honors, followed by a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.  She is married to Dr. Elwyn Lee who is an Administrator at the University of Houston.  She has two children Jason Lee a graduate of Harvard University and Erica Lee a graduate of Duke University and a Member of the Harris County School Board in Houston, Texas.