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Biography

Official Biography

photo of Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17)Representative Ro Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is serving his third term. Rep. Khanna sits on the House Committees on Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform, where he chairs the Environmental Subcommittee. Additionally, Rep. Khanna is the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus and is the Democratic Vice Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

Rep. Khanna is working to ensure our nation is focused on creating new tech jobs across the country, particularly for American left behind, and investing in science and technology to win the 21st Century. This includes job training programs, economic development initiatives, re-wiring the U.S. labor market, and debt-free college to help working families prepare for the future. He is also committed to advancing a foreign policy of military restraint and diplomatic engagement. Instead of spending trillions on wars overseas, Rep. Khanna believes we should invest in priorities at home like Medicare for All, Debt Free College, and a new 21st Century infrastructure.

A dedicated political reformer, Rep. Khanna is one of only a few members of Congress to refuse contributions from PACs and lobbyists. He also supports a 12-year term limit for Members of Congress and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Rep. Khanna was born in Philadelphia, PA, during America’s bicentennial, to a middle-class family. Both of his parents immigrated to the United States in the 1970s from India in search of opportunity and a better life for their children. His father is a chemical engineer and his mother is a substitute school teacher. Rep. Khanna’s commitment to public service was inspired by his grandfather who was active in Gandhi’s independence movement, worked with Lala Lajpat Rai in India, and spent several years in jail for promoting human rights.

Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Khanna taught economics at Stanford University, law at Santa Clara University, and American Jurisprudence at San Francisco State University. He wrote the book Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future and worked as a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law. Rep. Khanna served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the California Workforce Investment Board. He has also provided pro bono legal counsel to Hurricane Katrina victims with the Mississippi Center for Justice, and co-authored an amicus brief on the fair housing U.S. Supreme Court case, Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc.

Rep. Khanna graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago and received a law degree from Yale University. As a student at the University of Chicago, he walked precincts during Barack Obama's first campaign for the Illinois Senate in 1996. In his free time, Rep. Khanna enjoys cheering for the Golden State Warriors, watching movies, and traveling. He and his wife Ritu call Fremont, CA, home.

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.

Download a high-resolution official photo.