MAKERS Profile

Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Senator (D-Wisconsin)

In this video

United States Senator Tammy Baldwin initially realized what she could aspire to while watching Geraldine Ferraro accept the Democratic vice presidential nomination — a first for women. Since, Baldwin has been a trailblazer in her own right as a woman and openly gay politician.
Tammy Baldwin was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2012, becoming the first openly gay U.S. Senator and first female Senator from Wisconsin. A Smith College alumni, her public service career began in 1986 at the age of 24 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, representing Madison's downtown area.   Baldwin earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and went on to practice law and serve on the Wisconsin Assembly. In 1998, Baldwin defeated Republican candidate Josephine Musser for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first woman from Wisconsin to serve in Congress.   After serving more than a decade in the House, Baldwin won her seat on the Senate. She has become known for her strong support of LGBT rights and universal health care, among other issues.

More From Tammy

My Grandmother
Raised by her grandparents, Baldwin recounts how she viewed her grandmother as an early career woman who juggled everything.

Influence of My Mother
Baldwin shares how her mother marched for Civil Rights and was tangentially involved with the burgeoning women's movement.

Middle School Student Government
Involved in her middle school student government, Baldwin realized for the first time how she could make a difference.

Coming Out in 1986
Baldwin explains that 1986 was a vastly different landscape to come out in compared to today, especially for elected officials.

Women Need to Run
Women tend to be more hesitant when it comes to running for office, and Baldwin believes that more women should jump into the challenge.

Elected At 24 Years Old
Sworn into elected office at a young age, Baldwin had to work hard at being taken seriously by her more senior colleagues.

Women Senators Working Together
Baldwin shares an inside look at what it's like to be on the Senate floor, and how although things can be partisan, the female Senators are often able to rise above their differences for a cause.

Congresswoman & Granddaughter
Baldwin talks about her own work/life balance when she was first elected to the House of Representatives and how she managed caring for her grandmother as well as her constituents.

Ripple Effects
Baldwin shares that she is often inspired by the opportunity as person in a leadership position to be a role model, especially among the LGBT community.