Joni Ernst

Born:July 1, 1970 (age 49)
Career:U.S. Senate, 2015-present
Iowa state senator, 2011-2014
Montgomery County (Iowa) auditor, 2004-2011
Education:B.A., Iowa State University
Master's, Columbus College

Joni Ernst assumed office in the U.S. Senate in 2015, the first woman from Iowa elected to either house of Congress. Ernst is also the Senate's first female combat veteran.

Ernst was born on July 1, 1970 in Montgomery County, Iowa. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Iowa State University and has a master's degree in justice administration from Columbus College.

Ernst served a combined 21 years with the United States Army Reserve and the Iowa Army National Guard. From 2003 to 2004, she served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where her unit was responsible for running logistical convoys through Kuwait and into southern Iraq. A lieutenant colonel, Ernst commanded the largest battalion in Iowa.

Ernst served as the Montgomery County auditor from 2004 to 2011. She was elected to the Iowa state Senate for District 12 in a special election in 2011 and re-elected in 2012. In the Iowa Senate, Ernst served on the Education Standing Committee, Veteran Affairs Committee, Appropriations Committee, Rules & Administration Committee and Human Resources Standing Committee, and the Administration & Regulation Budget Subcommittee.

For information on Ernst's policy subject areas, committee appointments and sponsored/co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate, please visit her profile on


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