United States Senator, Washington
2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Maria Cantwell currently serves as a United States Senator for the State of Washington. As a respected leader—both in public service and in the private sector—Senator Cantwell has always embraced the values she first learned growing up in a strong working-class family. With the help of Pell Grants, Senator Cantwell was the first member of her family to graduate college. Later, a successful businesswoman in Washington’s hi-tech industry, she helped build a company that created hundreds of high-paying jobs from the ground up.
Senator Cantwell was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, 2006, and again in 2012, pledging to honor the hard work, aspirations and faith of the people of Washington state. She is working to create affordable opportunities for consumers, businesses and families, to make our nation more secure today, to foster innovation for tomorrow, and to stand with parents as they educate and care for their children.
As Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senator Cantwell championed smarter energy policies that harness economic opportunities in clean energy to diversify America’s energy sources, grow the clean energy economy and lower costs for consumers. Senator Cantwell is a Senate leader on supporting cutting-edge biofuels research and expanding clean energy tax incentives that have helped spur industry investment in clean energy jobs in Washington state and around the country. Senator Cantwell led the passage of legislation to create a modern, efficient national electricity grid, and worked to pass landmark climate legislation. Senator Cantwell has long worked to protect consumers from volatile energy prices and market manipulation—leading efforts to protect Northwest consumers from Enron during the Western Energy Crisis in the early 2000s.