Jeanne’s Story

Jeanne Shaheen is a tireless advocate for New Hampshire with a record of making a difference.


U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is the only woman in American history to be elected Governor and U.S. Senator, with a record of breaking partisan gridlock to make a difference for the people of New Hampshire

The Keene Sentinel says, “Shaheen has provided strong leadership in Congress,” with a “common sense voice.” The Concord Monitor calls Shaheen “a serious minded and well-informed” Senator who “looks out for her constituents.”

Jeanne’s dad was a shoe factory manager and her mom was a church secretary, instilling in her the values of hard work, responsibility and service. Jeanne’s been deeply involved in New Hampshire – as a parent, and a high school teacher, in local government and a leader in state government, serving three terms in the New Hampshire state Senate before being elected Governor. Once a small business owner, Jeanne remembers her dad always told her “the best thing you can do for someone is get them a good job,” and that wisdom has guided her work in public office.

As Governor, Jeanne’s focus on the economy helped New Hampshire businesses create nearly 67,000 new jobs. As a member of the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, she helped craft the Small Businesses Jobs Act, which provided small businesses with tax breaks and access to the credit they need to grow and create jobs. Jeanne is a leader in increasing export assistance to New Hampshire small businesses so they can sell their goods and services around the world.

Fiscal responsibility is a hallmark of Jeanne Shaheen’s leadership. New Hampshire’s Rainy Day Fund nearly tripled when she was Governor. In Washington, she’s partnered with several Republican Senators to cut wasteful spending, targeting taxpayer-funded portraits of politicians, duplicative inspection programs, and wasteful sugar and crop insurance subsidies for big corporate agri-businesses.

Jeanne has challenged the big utility companies, too, to cut energy bills for New Hampshire families and encourage clean energy. As Governor, Jeanne led the fight to bring competition to the electric industry. And, she brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass the Clean Power Act, first in the nation legislation that reduced power plant emissions. Her energy efficiency programs saved New Hampshire families and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. In the U.S. Senate, Jeanne is leading the fight, with bipartisan support, for a comprehensive national energy strategy to meet our growing energy needs, increase energy efficiency and lower costs, and confront the global threat of climate change.

Jeanne is a fierce advocate for women’s rights, including the rights of women in the military. The Shaheen Amendment, now law, provides abortion coverage to servicewomen who were victims of rape.  Jeanne was also key to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and an outspoken leader in the fight to stop sexual assault in the military. She is a strong supporter of equal pay for equal work, voting for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and cosponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Jeanne understands the importance of education. As Governor, she helped make college more affordable through a tax-free college tuition savings plan, made kindergarten a reality for tens of thousands of additional children. In the Senate, she continues working to reduce college loan interest rates, to strengthen job training and Science Technology Engineering and Math education so New Hampshire workers have the skills they need for jobs in emerging industries.

Jeanne believes everyone deserves access to affordable, quality health care. As Governor, she created an innovative program that extended affordable health insurance coverage to tens of thousands of New Hampshire children. She opposes repeal of the Affordable Care Act because she believes we cannot go back to the old broken health care system, but she is working to improve the ACA. Jeanne led the effort to strengthen Medicare by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and save an estimated $5,000 for each senior.  Jeanne is cosponsoring bipartisan bills to require the government to negotiate for lower drug prices for Medicare and to prevent pharmaceutical companies from keeping cheaper generic drugs off the market.

Jeanne is a strong advocate for civil rights, leading in the Senate to end discrimination against LGBT Americans. For example, she Jeanne introduced the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act to make additional benefits available to military spouses and families, regardless of sexual orientation, including health care and certain survivor benefits.

The long tradition of military service in her family engrained in Jeanne a deep commitment to veterans and a strong national defense. Her father served in the Army during World War II and her uncle died in combat in the Pacific, making her grandmother a Gold Star Mother.  She met her husband Bill in 1969 shortly after he returned to Dover from his service as an Army Captain. Her son-in-law Ryan served in the Air Force.  As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, Jeanne has fought to protect the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, modernize operations at the Pease Air National Guard base, and to strengthen support services for New Hampshire National Guard members returning from deployment and their families.  

Jeanne is a tireless fighter for New Hampshire. She secured the funding to open the Berlin prison, creating jobs and opportunity for the North Country. Working with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, she obtained the funds for the new Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth.  Jeanne took on the Senate Majority Leader when he excluded New Hampshire workers in his proposal to extend unemployment benefits and she stood up to President Obama when he  requested another round of base closures that would put the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the jobs it supports at major risk.  Jeanne also fought against the President and Democratic leadership on a measure that would force New Hampshire small businesses to collect other states’ sales taxes.

Jeanne is firmly rooted in New Hampshire. She and her husband of more than 40 years, Bill, live in Madbury. They have three daughters, Stefany, Stacey, and Molly, who attended local public schools, and seven grandchildren who Jeanne and Bill are thrilled  live close by.