Congressman Gerald E. Connolly
11th District of Virginia
“A Congressional and Economic Update”
Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District, which encompasses Fairfax County, Prince William County, and the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia. He was first elected in 2008 and reelected in 2010 and 2012. Congressman Connolly serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He is the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, which covers many key issues relating to Northern Virginia’s workforce and economy. Connolly also serves on the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs. He is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and also serves on the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Connolly is vice-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, co-chairing its Technology, Education and Entrepreneurship Task Force, chair of the Smart Contracting Caucus, co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Taiwan.
Connolly has earned a reputation in Congress as a results-oriented legislator who does his homework and gets results for his Northern Virginia district.
Since being elected, Connolly introduced and passed the bipartisan Telework Enhancement Act which requires the federal government to increase the use of telework by federal employees to ensure continuity of operations by federal agencies during emergency situations, enhance recruitment of a quality federal workforce, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the region’s air quality. He has also introduced important legislation to streamline and improve our election system, find savings in federal IT procurement and data center consolidation, and reform U.S. Foreign Aid.
Connolly also has played a key role in securing federal dollars for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening the Prince William County Parkway, providing ongoing support for Rail to Dulles, and securing the federal commitment of $150 million annually for the regional Metro system.
He is considered an expert on local and state government matters and issues affecting federal employees and federal contractors, two large constituencies in his suburban Washington district. He has sponsored and supported a number of legislative initiatives on behalf of active-duty service members, military families, and veterans, including measures to protect them from predatory service fees, enhance Veterans Administration services to veterans, provide more funding to treat brain injuries incurred on the battlefield, and assist military families when they must move to a new duty station.
Prior to his election to Congress, Connolly was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, the largest jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C. metro area with more than 1.1 million residents. Connolly served a total of 14 years on the Fairfax County Board, the last five as Chairman. He earned a reputation as a results-oriented leader for his initiatives to expand affordable housing opportunities, reduce gang violence, promote reusable energy, and advance critical transportation improvements. Fairfax was rated a Best Managed County during his tenure as Chairman.
Congressman Connolly received a M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1979. He received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After graduating from Harvard, Connolly spent 10 years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he handled numerous foreign policy issues including oversight of international economic issues and policies concerning the Middle East and the United Nations.
Congressman Connolly also worked in the non-profit sector, primarily advocating for hunger aid and international assistance. He also has strong ties to the business community having spent two decades working for organizations and companies involved in international trade, regulatory matters, technology, and research.
He resides in Fairfax with his wife Cathy and his daughter Caitlin.