Rep. Tom Malinowski is part of a new cohort in Congress with impressively strong national security backgrounds and who have emerged as leaders on these issues in Congress.
Malinowski, born in communist Poland at the height of the Cold War, fled to the United States with his mother at age 6. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to have a career fighting for human rights around the world. Under President Clinton, Malinowski served on the National Security Council working to end some of the 20th century’s bloodiest humanitarian crises. As the chief advocate for Human Rights Watch, he led a bipartisan effort to end the Bush administration’s use of torture.
During the Obama administration, Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor where he helped lead the fight to defend the rights of women and LGBTQ people, to protect workers in trade agreements, and to crack down on corruption around the world — deploying “the force of argument instead of the argument of force.”
In 2018, Malinowski upset an incumbent Republican Congressman by 52-47% with the endorsement of Council for a Livable World. In 2020, the Republican Party enlisted a strong candidate to oppose him, Tom Kean, Jr., the son of a former governor. Malinowski won by the slimmest margin in the country, 50.6-49.4%. Kean is running again this cycle with the full endorsement of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
As Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he has become an important House leader on national security issues and regularly votes to roll back wasteful Pentagon spending and nuclear weapons. His leadership is needed in the next Congress.