John Kerry



Designation: United States Senator
Institution / Org:

Democratic Party (United States)

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John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, and is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost by 34 electoral votes to incumbent President George W. Bush. Senator Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran, and was a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War when he returned home from service. Before entering the Senate, he served as an Assistant District Attorneyand Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis, who was nominated for President by the Democrats in 1988.


During his Senate career, Kerry has sponsored or cosponsored dozens of bills. Some of his notable bills have addressed small business concerns, education, terrorism, veterans' and Vietnam War POW/MIA issues, marine resource protection and other topics. Of those bills with his sponsorship, as of December 2004, 11 have been signed into law.Kerry chaired the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs from 1991 to 1993. The committee's report, which Kerry endorsed, stated there was "no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia."

In 1994 the Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Kerry and fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain, that called for an end to the existing trade embargo against Vietnam; it was intended to pave the way for normalization.In 1995, President Bill Clinton normalized diplomatic relations with the country of Vietnam.His long-time senior Senate staff includes Chief of Staff David "Mac" McKean and Legislative Director George Abar.Kerry was the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 1987 to 1989. He was reelected to the Senate in 1990, 1996 (after winning re-election against the then-Governor of Massachusetts Republican William Weld), 2002, and 2008. In January 2009, Kerry replaced Joe Biden as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


As of 2009, Kerry serves on four Senate committees and nine subcommittees:

Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security

Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet (Chairman)

Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion

Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard

Subcommittee on Science and Space

Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security

Committee on Finance

Subcommittee on Health Care

Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure

Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness

Committee on Foreign Relations (Chairman)

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

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