Whitehouse is the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, and also serves as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Finance Committee.
A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Sheldon served as Rhode Island’s U.S. Attorney and state attorney general before being elected to the Senate in 2006. He and his wife Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, live in Newport. They have two grown children.
Born on October 20, 1955, Sheldon Whitehouse grew up in a Foreign Service family. Throughout his childhood, Whitehouse lived in Vietnam, Cambodia, South Africa, Congo, Guinea, Laos, and Thailand. While abroad with his family, Sheldon learned firsthand the example American democracy sets for the world and the value of public service.
Whitehouse graduated from Yale University with a degree in Architecture and later received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
A CAREER OF SERVICE
After graduating from law school, Whitehouse worked as a clerk for the Supreme Court of West Virginia. He spent six years working as a lawyer in the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office before taking on a number of high-ranking positions in the Governor’s Office under Governor Bruce Sundlun. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Whitehouse as US Attorney for Rhode Island. Then, Whitehouse was elected by the people of Rhode Island to serve as the state’s Attorney General from 1999 to 2003.
Whitehouse has represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate since 2007. In the Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse has earned a reputation as a fierce advocate for progressive values and a thoughtful legislator capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions. He has been at the center of bipartisan efforts to pass laws overhauling federal education policy, rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, reforming the criminal and juvenile justice systems, protecting Americans from toxic chemicals in everyday products, and addressing ocean plastic waste.
Recognizing the devastating toll of addiction in Rhode Island and across the nation, Whitehouse authored the first significant bipartisan law to address the opioid crisis, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
Representing the Ocean State, Whitehouse plays a key role in crafting policies addressing climate change, environmental protection, and a price on carbon. He passed into law a dedicated fund to support ocean and coastal research and restoration and bipartisan legislation to confront the crisis of marine plastic and other waste polluting our oceans. He has worked to enact bipartisan measures to reduce carbon pollution and boost America’s clean energy economy.
Whitehouse has stood as a staunch defender of Social Security and Medicare, and has made improving care and reducing costs in our health care system a hallmark of his career. To counteract the corrosive effects of special interests in our democracy, Whitehouse has championed efforts to root out dark money from our elections and make Congress and the courts accountable to the American people.