Sam Gejdenson, Commissioner

Sam Gejdenson served as a Member of Congress from 1981 until 2000 as the U.S. Representative from the Second Congressional District in Connecticut. During his tenure in Congress, he rose to be the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. While on the Committee, he was widely recognized for his expertise in, among other areas, human rights, democracy and global engagement. His leadership on curbing international trafficking of women and children is reflected in his co-authorship of the groundbreaking Trafficking Victims Protection Act (which was reauthorized in 2008). Since leaving office, Mr. Gejdenson has, among other activities, worked to help build democracy in Eastern Europe and nations of the former Soviet Union. He has served on numerous boards including American Jewish World Service (AJWS), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), monitored elections in Bangladesh, Belarus, Georgia, Peru and Ukraine, and advised NDI's country offices world-wide on promoting democracy and good government.

Gejdenson, the first child of Holocaust survivors elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, was born in 1948 in a U.S. displaced persons camp in Eschwege, Germany. He received an A.S. degree from Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut in 1968 and a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut in 1970. In 1974, he was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives, serving two terms before accepting a post in the administration of Connecticut Governor Ella T. Grasso.

Mr. Gejdenson was appointed by the Commission on the recommendation of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on April 27, 2012.