Members in the News: Donna Shalala, Francis Rooney and Xavier Becerra

Dialogue members Donna Shalala and Francis Rooney were elected to Congress last night. Both will represent Florida in the US House of Representatives. Xavier Becerra was elected attorney general of California.

Donna Shalala is the former president & CEO of the Clinton Foundation. From 1993 to 2001, she served as US secretary of health and human services. Shalala’s career in public service began in 1977, when she was appointed assistant secretary for policy development and research in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Shalala also has a long career in academia, having taught at Baruch College and Columbia University’s Teachers College and serving as president of Hunter College and the University of Miami.  Shalala will represent Florida’s 27th district in the US House of Representatives. She has been a member of the Dialogue since 2001.

Francis Rooney is a member of Congress representing Florida’s 19th congressional district. On November 6th, he won his re-election campaign by a large margin. Rooney current serves as vice chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and works closely on issues in the Western Hemisphere. Prior to joining Congress, Rooney had a long career in the private sector as the CEO of Rooney Holdings, and investment and holding company based in Naples, Florida. Rooney joined the Inter-American Dialogue as a member in 2017.

Xavier Becerra is the current attorney general of California, a position he assumed after being appointed by Governor Jerry Brown following the election of Kamala Harris to the Senate in 2016. Prior to this role, Becerra served as a member of Congress, representing California’s 34th district from 1993 to 2017. Becerra served as chair of the Democratic Caucus, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (serving as chair from 1997-1998) and was the first Latino to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee. Becerra joined the Inter-American Dialogue as a member in 2007.