Susan Margaret Collins (born December 7, 1952) is an American businesswoman and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Maine. A Republican, she has represented Maine in the Senate since 1997.
Born in Caribou, Maine, Collins is a graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Beginning her career as a staff assistant for Senator William Cohen in 1975, she became staff director of the Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee of the Committee on Governmental Affairs (which later became the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs) in 1981. Governor John R. McKernan Jr. then appointed her Commissioner of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation in 1987. In 1992 President George H. W. Bush appointed her director of the Small Business Administration's regional office in Boston. Collins became a deputy state treasurer in the office of the Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts in 1993. After moving back to Maine in 1994, she became the Republican nominee for governor of Maine in the 1994 general election. She was the first female major-party nominee for the post, finishing third in a four-way race with 23% of the vote. After her bid for governor in 1994, she became the founding director of the Center for Family Business at Husson University in Bangor, Maine.
Collins was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. She was reelected in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020. She chaired the Senate Special Committee on Aging from 2015 to 2021 and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from 2003 to 2007. Collins was a senior Republican woman in the Senate, the dean of Maine's congressional delegation, and the only New England Republican in the 116th and 117th Congresses. She has been called a moderate Republican and is often a pivotal vote in the Senate. To date, Collins is the longest-serving Republican woman in the Senate.
On February 13, 2021, Collins was one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict Donald Trump of incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment trial.