Cathy McMorris Rodgers was born into a farming family and was the first in her family to attend college. She worked her way through Pensacola Christian College in Florida and later earned her Executive MBA from the University of Washington.
She served five terms as a citizen legislator in Olympia, Washington, eventually being elected to minority leader. When the legislature was not in session, Cathy worked in her parents’ small business, Peachcrest Fruit Basket, near Kettle Falls.
McMorris Rodgers was elected to Congress in 2004 and has risen to become the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress.
McMorris Rodgers represents Eastern Washington’s 5th District and is the chair of the House Republican Conference, the fourth-highest-ranking position among House Republicans. She previously served four years as the vice chair of the House Republican Conference. She is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she promotes policies to give wider opportunities to families and small businesses.
McMorris Rodgers is married to retired Navy Commander Brian Rodgers, and they have two children, Grace and Cole. Cole happens to have Down syndrome. She served on the House Armed Services Committee for three terms and is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus with Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.).
She is a staunch advocate for the differently-abled, and in 2007 she co-founded and is currently a co-chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. She works with the NIH to encourage increased funding for research benefiting people with Down syndrome, and she is co-sponsor of the ABLE Act and the Trisomy 21 Translational Research Parity Act.
We are proud to announce Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers as the 2013 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Awards recipient.