Christie Vilsack is a native Iowan committed to a life of public service. A lifelong educator, Christie has worked for more than 30 years to build strong communities in Iowa and nationally– as a teacher, activist and Iowa's leading volunteer as first lady. Whatever her role, she has always stepped up to the plate and fought to make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Christie has been long been an advocate for family literacy, public and school libraries, and computer literacy. Through a partnership with the National Center for Family Literacy and the Verizon Foundation, Christie helped create the Tech Savvy Awards to identify programs across the country that bring parents and children together to learn to use technology effectively and safely and to help parents advocate for 21st Century skills in schools. Most recently, Christie served as the Executive Director of the Iowa Initiative, a privately funded research program focused on women's health.
Born and raised by middle class parents in Mount Pleasant Iowa, Christie learned early in life that we each have a responsibility to look out for one another. Her mother passed away just days before Christie's high school graduations. In the days leading up to her death, she insisted that Christie not give up her chance to go to college. In the wake of her mother's death, the community pulled together to help her father raise her and her then 10-year old brother. Because of the people in her community, Christie was able to go to college and fulfill her dreams.
Strength, responsibility and sense of community have always been a part of her life. Returning to Mount Pleasant as a young woman, Christie and her husband Tom raised their two boys – Jess and Doug with those same small town values. For 18 years, Christie taught middle school and high school language arts and journalism and for 6 years she taught at the college level.
When Christie's husband was elected governor in 1998, she had the honor to serve as Iowa's First Lady. In that role she continued her life-long commitment to healthy kids and communities traveling the state spearheading a statewide literacy initiative and advocating for education and economic development initiatives on behalf of the governor's office and representing Iowa in nine countries.
The Democratic Candidate for Congress in the 4th District, Christie will bring to Washington the values she learned growing up in small town Iowa to Congress – strength, hard work, a responsibility to look out for one another and most importantly the belief that we must work together to get things done.
Christie is a 1972 graduate of Kirkland College in Clinton, New York, and received a master's degree in journalism from The University of Iowa in 1992. She and Tom married in 1973 after meeting as college student. Together they have two sons, Jess and Doug and two grandchildren.
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