Distinguished Senior Fellow
Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Tom Daschle graduated from South Dakota State University in 1969. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force where he served as an intelligence officer in the Strategic Air Command until mid-1972.
Following completion of his military service, Daschle served on the staff of Sen. James Abourezk (D-SD). In 1978 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served for eight years. In 1986 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and eight years later became its Democratic leader. Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic leaders in history and the only one to serve twice as both majority and minority leader. During his tenure, Daschle navigated the Senate through some of its most historic economic and national security challenges. In 2003 he chronicled some of these experiences in his book, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever.
Today, Daschle is a special policy advisor to the law firm of Alston & Bird where he provides clients with strategic advice on public policy issues such as climate change, energy, health care, trade, financial services and telecommunications. Since leaving the Senate, he has distinguished his expertise in health care through the publication of Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis and has emerged as a leading thinker on climate change and renewable energy policy.
In 2007 he joined with former Majority Leaders George Mitchell, Bob Dole, and Howard Baker to create the Bipartisan Policy Center, an organization dedicated to finding common ground on some of the pressing public policy challenges of our time. Daschle serves on the board of the Center for American Progress, the National Democratic Institute, and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He also is a member of the Health Policy and Management Executive Council at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a member of the Global Policy Advisory Council for the Health Worker Migration Initiative.
He is married to Linda Hall Daschle and has three children and four grandchildren.