Born and raised in the Southwest Side "Bungalow Belt" near Midway Airport, Dan is a proud native of Illinois’ Third Congressional District, which he has represented since being elected in 2004. He currently resides in the west suburban portion of the district in Western Springs with his wife, Judy.
Dan Before Congress
Dan’s interest in community service and policy activism began at an early age. When he was 12 years old, he got together with some friends to create a petition to collect signatures asking the Japanese government to change their laws so that Japanese fishermen were not allowed to kill dolphins as they were catching for tuna. At that time there was no such thing as "dolphin safe" tuna. They gathered signatures at Brookfield Zoo, in front of Jewel, and elsewhere, and then sent them to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Dan knows he was only one very tiny player in bringing about change, but when you buy a can of tuna in the store today it usually says "dolphin safe."
Dan graduated from St. Symphorosa Elementary School on the Southwest Side of Chicago. He played Clear Ridge Little League baseball for 8 years and served as an altar boy at St. Symphorosa. In 1984 Dan graduated with honors from St. Ignatius College Prep, continuing his interest in government and community service by getting elected to the Student Council, tutoring with the Community Tutoring Alliance, and lettering on the Student Congress team.
In 1988, Dan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. In his junior year he was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. In addition to other activities, he served as president of the International Policy Forum and three times participated in Dance Marathon, raising money for various charities. Following Northwestern, Dan went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University. Next, he was recruited to work for six months in Zurich, Switzerland as a Systems Analyst for Swissair. Upon returning, Dan worked in Washington, DC for the House of Representatives Administration Committee and then for the Illinois General Assembly Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
Having gained these experiences working overseas and in government, Dan attended graduate school at Duke University. In 1998 he was awarded his Doctoral Degree in Political Science. During work on his dissertation, Dan took time off to serve as Director of Communications Research for Dick Devine’s first successful run for Cook County State’s Attorney in 1996. After graduating from Duke, the American Political Science Association awarded Dan a Congressional Fellowship, during which time he worked on issues for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt in the Democratic Policy Committee. Following this, Dan taught Political Science as an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee.
Dan was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 4, 2004, and was sworn in to begin his first term in the 109th Congress on January 4, 2005. He has subsequently been reelected every two years and is currently in his sixth term.
Dan in Congress
As Northeastern Illinois’ only member of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Lipinski has worked tirelessly to improve America’s transportation system, including more funding for roads, mass transit, rails, and airports. He has also been the leading advocate for the CREATE rail modernization program, a public-private partnership to reduce rail and road congestion throughout the Chicago region; in the last federal surface transportation bill he secured $100 million for this program and then helped produce the agreement for the three-year, $330 million first phase of CREATE. Dan has also brought another $27 million to the district for other transportation projects. He has also helped to maintain the vitality and safety of Midway Airport which is in his district. Dan has helped secure more than $30 million for safety enhancements at the airport. Dan serves on the two Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittees: Aviation, and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
Dan also serves on the Committee on Science and Technology where he sits on two subcommittees, Research and Science Education, and Technology and Innovation. At the beginning of the 111th Congress – because of his experience as a college professor and his background as one of less than a dozen engineers in Congress – Dan was selected to be Chairman of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee. Again at the start of the 112th Congress he was chosen to serve as the top Democrat on this subcommittee. He has focused his work on improving the economic competitiveness of America, especially by increasing support for top-notch scientific research, facilitating technology transfer from the lab to market in order to create jobs locally and nationally, improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and promoting the development of green jobs in America.
For a list of Dan’s accomplishments in Congress, click here.
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