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Jeanne Shaheen

director, IOP, Kennedy School

Jeanne Shaheen is a leader committed to strengthening New Hampshire middle class families and small businesses, becoming the first woman elected Governor of New Hampshire in 1996. After attending public schools, Jeanne received a bachelor's degree from Shippensburg University and a master's degree from the University of Mississippi. Jeanne's focus on the economy led to the creation of nearly 67,000 new jobs during her six years as Governor and the third-highest high tech employment in the nation. Governor Shaheen signed into law legislation creating a more favorable tax environment for venture capital, encouraging investment in start-up small businesses. Understanding that for New Hampshire's middle class to prosper we must be able to compete in an increasingly global economy, she was the first New Hampshire Governor to lead a trade mission outside of North America. Governor Shaheen also brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass the Clean Power Act, first-in-the-nation legislation reducing power plant emissions, and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, which has helped preserve 250,000 acres of open space and 88 historic places. Energy efficiency programs initiated by the Shaheen administration have saved New Hampshire families and businesses almost $400 million. Jeanne has been involved in all levels of New Hampshire life. She has taught in a New Hampshire high school. She was chair of Madbury's zoning board and co-chair of the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Women. She was the co-founder of Somersworth's International Children's Festival and director of two successful New Hampshire presidential primary campaigns. In 2005 she took on the challenge of forging a new generation of public leaders when she became the Director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. Unwilling to sit back while Washington betrays middle class families, Jeanne left the Institute of Politics in September 2007 to run for the United States Senate.