Gretchen Whitmer served in the Michigan Legislature from 2001-2015 and was elected by her colleagues as the Senate Democratic Leader in 2011, becoming the first woman to lead a Senate caucus in Michigan history.
Gretchen was an outspoken advocate for Michigan's families throughout her time in office. She lead efforts to support our public schools, fought to protect seniors and championed the rights of women.
As Democratic Leader in the Senate, Gretchen brought national media attention to Michigan when she successfully fought a Republican effort to sanction the bullying of LGBT students through legislation that was meant to protect every student from schoolyard harassment.
Gretchen again ignited a national debate in 2013 when she spoke out against Michigan's offensive "rape insurance" law and helped bring Eve Ensler to the steps of our State Capitol to perform her play "The Vagina Monologues" in protest of women legislators being banned from speaking on the floor of the State House.
After leaving office, Gretchen returned to work as an attorney at Dickinson Wright law firm and had the honor of becoming a Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy where she teaches students the importance of public service.
Gretchen lives in East Lansing with her husband Marc, her two daughters and his three sons.