Donna F. Edwards served 5 terms (2008- 2017) in the United States House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman to represent Maryland.
Congresswoman Edwards was born in Yanceyville, North Carolina, grew up in a military family, and lived in every region of the country and internationally. She earned
her J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and her B.A. from Wake Forest University. Edwards completed her final year of study at the University of Salamanca, Spain. She is the mother of one adult son.
As a nonprofit executive, Congresswoman Edwards co-founded and led the National Network to End Domestic Violence, spearheading the effort to pass the Violence
Against Women Act in 1994. She was the executive director of the Arca Foundation and Center for a New Democracy and was a tireless advocate for Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy non-profit organization. Congresswoman Edwards has served on numerous nonprofit boards in various capacities from treasurer to chair. She currently serves on the Profiles in Courage Awards Committee of the John F. Kennedy Library and as a trustee of Wake Forest University. An honorary member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, she serves on the board of their National Education Foundation.
In Congress, Edwards served on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Standards and Official Conduct, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, serving as the lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Space. Congresswoman Edwards was a member of the Democratic leadership team as co-chair of the House Democrat’s Steering and Policy Committee.
Following her service in Congress, Edwards set out on a cross country motorhome adventure, logging 12,000 miles camping, hiking and fishing throughout the United States. Congresswoman Edwards provides political commentary in print, electronic and cable media and serves as the Senior Advisor to the Bauman Foundation. Edwards is a contributing columnist for The Washington Post.
Most recently, Edwards has been named a 2019 Distinguished Alumni from Wake Forest University. Wake Forest President, Nathan Hatch, said “Edwards’ public service and advocacy for the rights of others embodies the spirit of our motto, Pro Humanitate – for humanity.”