Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District, which includes Fairfax County, Prince William County, the towns of Dumfries and Herndon, and the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia. Prior to his 2008 election to Congress, Connolly served 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, including five years as Chairman.
Congressman Connolly serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He has earned a reputation in Congress as a results-oriented legislator who does his homework and gets things done for his Northern Virginia district.
Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, serving as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and as a member of the Subcommittee on Information Technology.
As the Ranking Democratic Member for the Committee’s largest Subcommittee, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, such as the federal workforce, federal procurement, regulatory reform, federal property, federal and presidential records, information policy, national drug policy, FOIA, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the United States Postal Service, the United States Census Bureau, and the District of Columbia.
Through his background in foreign policy and his work on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Connolly has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad. He also serves on the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and the Subcommittee and Asia and the Pacific.
Connolly serves as vice-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, chair of the Smart Contracting Caucus, co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Taiwan.
Congressman Connolly co-authored the bipartisan Issa-Connolly Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which was signed into law in 2014 and represents the first major overhaul of the federal laws governing IT management since enactment of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. Connolly also passed the Telework Enhancement Act which requires the federal government to increase the use of telework by federal employees to ensure continuity of operations by federal agencies during emergency situations, enhance recruitment of a quality federal workforce, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the region’s air quality.
He has also introduced important legislation to streamline and improve our election system, find savings in federal IT procurement and data center consolidation, and reform U.S. Foreign Aid.
Connolly has played a key role in securing federal dollars for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening the Prince William County Parkway, providing ongoing support for Rail to Dulles, and securing the annual federal commitment of $150 million for the regional Metro system.
He is considered an expert on local and state government matters and issues affecting federal employees and federal contractors, two large constituencies in his suburban Washington district. For his efforts he has twice been recognized as a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 winner, was named the 2013 FedScoop Tech Champion of the Year, and received the AFFIRM Award for Leadership in the IT community.
Connolly has sponsored and supported a number of legislative initiatives on behalf of active-duty service members, military families, and veterans, including measures to protect them from predatory service fees, enhance Veterans Administration services to veterans, provide more funding to treat brain injuries incurred on the battlefield, and assist military families when they must move to a new duty station.
Prior to his election to Congress, Connolly was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, the largest jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C. metro area with more than 1.1 million residents. He earned a reputation as a pragmatic leader for his initiatives to expand affordable housing opportunities, reduce gang violence, promote reusable energy, and advance critical transportation improvements. Fairfax was rated a Best Managed County during his tenure as Chairman.
Congressman Connolly received a M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1979. He received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After graduating from Harvard, Connolly spent 10 years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he handled numerous foreign policy issues including oversight of international economic issues and policies concerning the Middle East and the United Nations.
Congressman Connolly also worked in the non-profit sector, primarily advocating for hunger aid and international assistance. He also has strong ties to the business community having spent two decades working for organizations and companies involved in international trade, regulatory matters, technology, and research.
He resides in Fairfax with his wife Cathy and his daughter Caitlin.