Van Hollen, Chris, 1959-

Variant names

Hide Profile

Christopher J. Van Hollen Jr. (born January 10, 1959) is an American attorney and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 8th congressional district from 2003 to 2017 and has served as U.S. Senator from Maryland since 2017.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan to American parents, he spent parts of his early life in Pakistan, Turkey, India, and Sri Lanka. He returned to the United States for his junior year of high school, and attended Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts before graduating from the Kodaikanal International School in southern India. Van Hollen went on to earn a B.A. from Swarthmore College, an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Van Hollen worked as a legislative assistant for defense and foreign policy to U.S. Senator Charles Mathias, a Republican from Maryland, from 1985 to 1987. He was also a staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (1987–1989), and a legislative advisor for federal affairs to Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer (1989–1991). He was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1990, and joined the law firm of Arent Fox.

Van Hollen served in the Maryland General Assembly from 1991 to 2003, first in the House of Delegates (1991–95) and then in the State Senate (1995–2003). During his time there, he became known as a tenacious advocate for everyday Marylanders and someone who was unafraid to take on powerful special interests on behalf of working people. In 2002, he was elected to represent Maryland's 8th Congressional District. Because many federal employees live in his district, Van Hollen has worked on a number of issues relating to them. He supported pay parity in pay raises for civilian employees and introduced an amendment, which passed, to block attempts to outsource federal jobs.

In 2007, Van Hollen became the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). In this post, he was responsible for leading efforts to defend vulnerable Democrats and get more Democrats elected to Congress in 2008, which he did. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created a new leadership post, Assistant to the Speaker, in 2006 so that Van Hollen could be present at all leadership meetings. He was elected Ranking Member on the Budget Committee on November 17, 2010. Pelosi appointed Van Hollen to the 12-member bipartisan Committee on Deficit Reduction with a mandate for finding major budget reductions by late 2011. On October 17, 2013, Pelosi appointed Van Hollen to serve on the bicameral conference committee.

Van Hollen ran for the United States Senate in 2016 to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. He defeated Congresswoman Donna Edwards in the Democratic primary and won the general election 60 to 36 percent. Van Hollen served as Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) from 2017 to 2019.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
employeeOf Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin, and Kahn corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Georgetown University. Law Center. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf John F. Kennedy School of Government. corporateBody
memberOf Maryland. General Assembly. House of Delegates corporateBody
memberOf Maryland. General Assembly. Senate corporateBody
associatedWith Mathias, Charles McC. (Charles McCurdy), 1922-2010 person
associatedWith Schaefer, William Donald person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Swarthmore college corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
memberOf United States. Congress. Senate corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Cambridge MA US
Concord MA US
Karachi 05 PK
Kodaikānāl 25 IN
Kensington MD US
Swarthmore PA US
District of Columbia DC US
Representatives, U.S. Congress
Senators, U.S. Congress
State Representative
State Senator
Legislative assistants


Birth 1959-01-10






Ark ID: w6r31s5t

SNAC ID: 85821371