About Sheldon

Sheldon Whitehouse has earned a reputation in the Senate as a fierce advocate for progressive values and a thoughtful legislator capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions. 

Senator Whitehouse 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.

“While fighting in Washington against corporate interests and their influence on the political process,” wrote the Providence Journal, “Senator Whitehouse has not forgotten the people back home.”

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, where he serves on the Finance Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Budget Committee.  

Whitehouse has authored two books, On Virtues: Quotations and Insight to Live a Full, Honorable, and Truly American Life and Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy.

He and his wife Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, live in Newport.  They have two grown children.

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Quick Facts

  • Family
    Born October 20,1955
    Married to Dr. Sandra
    Thornton Whitehouse; Two
    Children

  • Education
    B.A. Yale University
    (Architecture), 1978
    J.D., University of Virginia
    School of Law, 1982

  • Public Service
    Special Assistant Attorney
    General of Rhode Island
    (1984-1989)

    Assistant Attorney General
    of Rhode Island
    (1989-1990)

    Legal Counsel to the
    Governor of Rhode Island
    (1991)

    Policy Director, Office of
    the Governor of Rhode
    Island (1992)

    Director, Rhode Island
    Department of Business
    Regulation
    (1992-1994)

    United States Attorney for
    the District of Rhode Island
    (1994-1998)

    Rhode Island Attorney
    General
    (1999-2003)

    U.S. Senator for
    Rhode Island
    (2007-Present)