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Susan Molinari

Susan Molinari is a Senior Principal in the government relations, advocacy and strategy section of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Washington, D.C.

A former Member of Congress from New York, Ms. Molinari helps develop and implement legislative, regulatory and public affairs strategies in the complex federal environment. Known for her determination and bipartisan spirit, she brings to bear nearly two decades of experience in Washington on behalf of her clients.

A U.S. Representative from 1990 to 1997, Ms. Molinari quickly became “one of the most distinctive Members of the House” and “one of the most visible voices for her party” according to the authoritative Almanac of American Politics. As a result, after just four years in Washington, and just weeks after the election of the first GOP House majority in 40 years, Ms. Molinari was elected by her colleagues to the eight-person Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest-ranking woman in the Congress.

Unanimously re-elected to the House Leadership in 1996, Ms. Molinari also enjoyed another distinction that year as she was selected by GOP Presidential candidate Senator Robert Dole as Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention in San Diego. Ms. Molinari was an effective leader in the fight for crime victims, passing sweeping judicial reforms to toughen laws on repeat rapists and child molesters and to increase funding for the Violence Against Women Act. She also won passage of measures to enhance adoption, and promote breast cancer awareness and research funding.

As a member of the House Budget Committee, she was at the forefront of producing Congress’ first balanced budget in 29 years. Ms. Molinari chaired the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Railroad Subcommittee, which passed legislation to overhaul the nation’s Amtrak passenger rail service. As chair, she also implemented the transition of the Interstate Commerce Commission to the Surface Transportation Board, and played a key role in fashioning the historic, five-year, multi-billion dollar transportation-funding bill ( TEA -21) adopted in 1997.

Prior to Congress, Ms. Molinari was twice elected to the New York City Council, where she was Minority Leader. In 1997, she left Congress to co-anchor “ CBS News Saturday Morning.”

In addition to her broadcast experience, Ms. Molinari has addressed hundreds of audiences on politics, government and the media in nearly every state. She is represented by the Harry Walker Agency of New York City as a lecturer before business and trade organizations, universities and civic groups from coast to coast and was selected as one of the Top Five Speakers of 1998 by the members of Toastmasters International.

She is the co-author of the book Representative Mom: Balancing Budgets, Bill and Baby in the U.S. Congress (Doubleday, 1998). Ms. Molinari has also authored scores of articles published by national magazines and daily newspapers on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the role of women in politics to national fiscal policy.

Ms. Molinari was selected as a Visiting Fellow at the prestigious Institute of Politics/Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1998. She was chosen as Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1996 and by Time magazine as one of forty of the nation’s most influential people under age forty in the nation in 1994. In 2003 Ms. Molinari was recognized for her efforts to develop a framework to address the national housing crisis. As Co-Chair of the Millennial Housing Commission, the National Housing Conference named her “Housing Person of the Year.” She also served as a member of the Bush-Cheney Transition Advisory Committee.

Ms. Molinari chairs the Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization committed to reducing drunk driving and underage drinking. Ms. Molinari is a member of several boards, including the Toyota North America Diversity Advisory Board. She also serves on the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform. The Commission, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III , remains an ongoing project to ensure that future elections are an improvement on the past ones.

Born and raised on Staten Island, Ms. Molinari is a third-generation public servant. Her grandfather was the first Italian-American immigrant elected to the New York State Assembly and she was elected to Congress succeeding her father, Guy V. Molinari, who became the Borough President of Staten Island.

Ms. Molinari is married to former New York Congressman Bill Paxon, now a senior advisor at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld.

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