Debra A. Haaland

United States Congresswoman

Congresswoman Haaland grew up in a military family; her father was a 30-year combat Marine who was awarded the Silver Star Medal, and her mother is a Navy veteran who was a federal employee for 25 years in Indian education. She knows the sacrifices made by military families because her family moved throughout the country during her father’s military service; she attended 13 different public schools.

As a single mother, she volunteered at her daughter’s preschool in order to afford an early childhood education. Like many New Mexicans, she has lived paycheck-to-paycheck, had to rely on food stamps at times, and struggled to put herself through college. Through hard work and determination, she earned degrees from the University of New Mexico (UNM) and UNM Law School. Congresswoman Haaland and her daughter, who also recently graduated from UNM, are still paying off student loans.

For several years, she ran her own small business producing and canning Pueblo Salsa and later became the first Chairwoman elected to the Laguna Development Corporation Board of Directors, overseeing business operations of the second largest tribal gaming enterprise in New Mexico. Haaland successfully advocated for the Laguna Development Corporation to create policies and commitments to earth-friendly business practices.

She is a 35th generation New Mexican who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna. After running for New Mexico Lieutenant Governor in 2014, Haaland became the first Native American woman to be elected to lead a State Party. During her time as State Party Chair, she traveled to Standing Rock to stand side-by-side with the community to protect tribal sovereignty and advocate for vital natural resources.

Starting in 2016, Haaland has served as an Honorary Commander of Kirtland Air Force Base which gives her a better understanding of its missions and effects on New Mexico’s economy.

Congresswoman Haaland was elected as one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. She will serve in leadership roles as the 116th Congress Freshman Class Representative to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, House Democratic Region VI Whip and Deputy Whip for the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Opening Keynote Session

Halls B/C

Mayor London Breed, City and County of San Francisco Seema Hingorani, Founder and Chair of Girls Who Invest, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of SevenStep Capital Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder and President, Mann Deshi Bank and Foundation Kaiser Wellness Break, hosted by Charisse Loriaux and Miia Williams Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Partner of California, Filmmaker […]

Keynote Sessions