Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Former United States Congresswoman

The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is an American politician, consultant, and educator. She served for almost three decades, from 1989 until 2019, as a member of the United States Congress, representing South Florida. She was the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. She also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was a member of the CIA Subcommittee and the National Security Agency and Cybersecurity Subcommittee.

In these roles, she led on pressing foreign policy issues, including championing the advancement of freedom, democracy, and capitalism around the world; fighting against tyranny and oppression, particularly in her native Cuba; combatting Islamist extremism and strengthening the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership; imposing sanctions on human rights violators; and supporting free trade agreements.

Ros-Lehtinen holds multiple degrees in Education, including a doctorate from the University of Miami, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Florida International University, and an associate’s degree from Miami Dade College. She began her career as a Florida certified teacher, and then founded and served as the principal of a private bilingual elementary school. She was the first Latina elected to the U.S. Congress, as well as to the State of Florida House of Representatives and Senate.