Senator Barbara A. Mikulski became the first woman and first Marylander to chair the Committee on December 20, 2012.
She was first appointed to the Committee in 1987.
In addition to her full committee duties, she serves as Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee.
Senator Mikulski was born and raised in the Highlandtown neighborhood of East Baltimore, Maryland.
She graduated from Mt. St. Agnes College and earned a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland.
Determined to make a difference, she began her career in social work helping at-risk children and educating seniors about Medicare.
Social work evolved into community activism when Mikulski successfully organized communities to defeat a proposed 16-lane highway through Baltimore's Fells Point.
Senator Mikulski has a long record of public service, starting with her election in 1971 to the Baltimore City Council.
In 1976, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she represented Maryland’s 3rd District for ten years.
She became the first Democratic woman Senator elected in her own right in 1986.
In 2012, Senator Mikulski became the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress.