A Dialogue with Sen. Tim Kaine & Gov. Ralph Northam
April 24, 2018
DC Dialogues and the NYU Washington, DC Global Leadership cohort welcomed U.S. Senator from the state of Virginia, former Vice Presidential candidate, and proud NYU parent, Tim Kaine along with the Governor of the state of Virginia, Ralph Northam. Sen. Kaine and Gov. Northam met with students for a dialogue on American politics. Students had the opportunity to ask questions about their careers as well as current political issues. This DC Dialogues workshop was for students only, and was facilitated by NYU students.
Andreas Strandgaard, NYU Shanghai '19 and Warda Malik, NYU Abu Dhabi '19 served as moderators for the evening representing the DC Global Leadership cohort.
Tim Kaine has helped people throughout his life as a missionary, civil rights lawyer, teacher and elected official. He is one of 30 people in American history to have served as a Mayor, Governor and United States Senator.
Tim was elected to the Senate in 2012 as a can-do optimist skilled in bringing people together across old lines of party, race or region. In the Senate, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations, and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees. He is Ranking Member of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism.
Tim’s Armed Services work focuses on crafting smart defense strategy in a changing world and also enables him to tackle a personal mission – the reduction of unemployment among veterans, especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans. His first piece of legislation in the Senate, the Troop Talent Act of 2013, established new standards to help active duty servicemembers attain civilian credentials for military skills to assist their transition into the workforce. In his committee role, Tim has also worked to secure key Virginia priorities in the past three defense bills, including the refueling and overhaul of the Norfolk-based U.S.S. George Washington in the 2015 Authorization and preservation of the U.S. Navy’s 11-aircraft carrier fleet and thousands of jobs across Hampton Roads in the 2016 Authorization.
On Foreign Relations, Tim works to enhance American diplomatic leadership, with a special focus on the Middle East and Latin America. He is a leading voice in efforts to expand the role of Congress on foreign policy and improve the way Congress and the President consult on matters of war, peace, and diplomacy. Tim has introduced bipartisan legislation to revise the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and has pushed Congress to finally vote to authorize the ongoing U.S. military action against ISIL. In addition, Tim coauthored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, establishing the process for congressional review of the diplomatic effort to block any Iranian nuclear weapons program. He is one of the Senate’s few members fluent in Spanish and serves as honorary chairman of the US-Spain Council.
On the Budget Committee, Tim used his experience making tough budget decisions in local and state office in Virginia to help Congress pass a two-year budget agreement in 2013 to offset the worst impacts of sequestration that had disproportionately impacted the Commonwealth. As a harsh critic of sequestration and an advocate for biennial budgeting, Tim strongly supported the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 for continuing to scale back sequestration cuts and providing for two more years of budgetary certainty.
As a new member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the 115th Congress, Tim will have the opportunity to focus on two of his longtime passions: health care and education. In this critical time for health care in America, Tim is motivated now more than ever to fight against harmful policy proposals that seek to reverse the progress we’ve made in increasing access to care for millions of Americans. Tim will also use his new role to look for ways to further address the opioid abuse epidemic that affects every corner of the Commonwealth.
Tim is a founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, which focuses on improving access to CTE programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century. Many of his proposals to advance CTE were included in the 2015 re-write of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Tim also supports expanding economic opportunity through infrastructure investment, immigration reform and smart strategies to expand affordable health care access.
In the 114th Congress, Tim introduced many pieces of important legislation for Virginia, including a bill to recognize six Virginia Indian tribes. Inspired by a discussion he had with advocates for sexual assault survivors at the University of Virginia, Tim championed successful legislation to encourage public secondary schools to teach students about how to prevent dating violence and sexual assault. And after numerous discussions with recovering addicts, families, medical professionals, and law enforcement officials about the growing opioid epidemic in Virginia, Tim introduced legislation to increase access to life-saving overdose medication and prevent drug-related deaths.
In the 113th Congress, Tim introduced legislation to preserve the Commonwealth’s historic Civil War battlegrounds, which President Obama signed into law. He also worked to pass bipartisan legislation to expand pediatric cancer research at the National Institutes of Health in honor of Gabriella Miller, a young girl from Leesburg, Virginia who lost her battle with brain cancer in October 2013.
Tim has focused closely on climate change and its effects on Virginia, especially sea level rise and flooding. In 2014, he co-hosted a bipartisan conference that brought together policymakers, experts, and regional stakeholders to discuss strategies to combat the threat that these challenges pose to Hampton Roads.
Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. He was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School and started his public service career by taking a year off from Harvard to run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. After law school, he practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability. He also began teaching part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987.
Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006.
Tim is married to Anne Holton, who served as Virginia Secretary of Education from 2014 until 2016. A former legal aid lawyer and juvenile court judge, Anne previously ran Great Expectations, a program for more than 500 foster children attending Virginia community colleges. Tim and Anne revel in the adventures of their three grown children and live in the same Northside Richmond neighborhood where they moved as newlyweds more than 30 years ago. Tim loves reading, being outdoors, and playing harmonica with bluegrass bands throughout Virginia.
Before he was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor.
A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Governor Northam was educated at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he graduated with distinction.
After graduation, Governor Northam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He served eight years of active duty and rose to the rank of major.
He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School and then traveled to San Antonio for a pediatric residency, where he met his wife Pamela, a pediatric occupational therapist at the same hospital. Governor Northam did his residencies at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and served as chief neurological resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As an Army doctor, he served in Germany, treating soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm.
When Governor Northam and Pamela returned home, they chose to build their life in Hampton Roads. He began practicing pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He established Children’s Specialty Group, his current medical practice, to provide expert pediatric care for patients. Governor Northam also served as assistant professor of neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he taught medicine and ethics.
Governor Northam volunteered as medical director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, where he spent 18 years caring for terminally ill children.
Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.
Governor Northam is the first native of the Eastern Shore to serve as Governor since Governor Henry A. Wise took office 1856. He is also the first VMI Keydet to serve as Governor since Governor Westmoreland Davis took office in 1918.
Governor Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have two adult children: Wes, a neurosurgical resident in Chapel Hill, and Aubrey, a web developer in Richmond.