Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Tom Daschle graduated from South Dakota State University in 1969. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force where he served as an intelligence officer in the Strategic Air Command until mid-1972. Following completion of his military service, Senator Daschle served on the staff of Senator James Abourezk. 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.
Senator 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, Senator 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, Senator Daschle is a Senior Policy Advisor to the law firm of DLA Piper 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 the recently published, Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform. Daschle has continued to lead on climate change and renewable energy, as well as a variety of other public policy challenges. 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.
Senator Daschle serves on the board of the Center for American Progress, acts as the Vice Chair of the National Democratic Institute, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also is a member of the Health Policy and Management Executive Council at the Harvard School of Public Health in addition to the Global Policy Advisory Council for the Health Worker Migration Initiative. He is a member of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees, the GE Healthymagination Advisory Board; the National Integrated Foodsystem Advisory Board; and the Committee on Collaborative Initiatives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, Senator Daschle’s board memberships include the Blum Foundation; the Energy Future Coalition, the Committee to Modernize Voter Registration; the US Global Leadership Coalition Advisory Council and the Advisory Committee on the Trust for National Mall.