Barbara Lee

Born:July 16, 1946 (age 77)
Career:U.S. House of Representatives, 1998-present
California State Senate, 1996-1998
California State Assembly, 1990-1996
Education:Mills College
University of California - Berkley

Barbara Lee assumed office in April 1998 through a special election, representing California's 9th District in the United States House of Representatives. Following redistricting, Lee was elected to represent District 13 in 2012 and then District 12 in 2022. On Feb. 21, 2023, Lee announced that she was running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Dianne Feinstein, who was to retire at the end of her term but subsequently passed away before the term ended. Lee came in fourth in California's top-two open primary system, behind fellow Democrats and California U.S. representatives Adam Schiff and Katie Porter and former baseball star Steve Garvey (Republican).

Lee was born July 16, 1946, in El Paso, Texas, and moved to California in 1960. She was educated at Mills College and received her Master of Social Work from University of California, Berkley in 1975. From 1990 to 1996, she served in the California State Assembly and later, in the California State Senate.

Lee has co-authored every major piece of legislation dealing with global HIV/AIDS issues. She has worked to strengthen the relations between the United States and its Caribbean neighbors and to promote dialogue through education exchange programs, travel, and fair trade. Lee also worked to end the ineffective embargo against Cuba. In 2005, due to her dedication to international projects, Lee was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize along with women from 150 countries as part of the international project, 1000 Women for Peace.

While in Congress, Lee has served as the co-chair for the Out-of-Poverty Caucus and for the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus.

For more information on Lee's policy subject areas, committee appointments and sponsored/co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit her profile on