Tom Malinowski
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Tom Malinowski

Tomasz P. Malinowski (born September 23, 1965)[1] is an American politician and diplomat who serves as the U.S. representative for New Jersey's 7th congressional district, a rural and suburban district since 2019. A Democrat, he previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the Obama Administration. Malinowski was first elected in 2018, defeating Republican incumbent Leonard Lance.[2][3]

Early life and education

Malinowski was born in S?upsk, Poland, and lived in Brwinów until he left the country at the age of six with his mother, Joanna, who married Blair Clark. He was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, and graduated from Princeton High School in 1983, where he wrote for the school newspaper The Tower and was an intern in the office of Senator Bill Bradley.[1] Malinowski received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987 and a Master of Philosophy from St Antony's College, Oxford, in 1991, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.[1][4]

Early political career

Malinowski began his government career as a special assistant for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1988. After attending Oxford, Malinowski worked for the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria, and later as a research assistant for the Ford Foundation in 1993.[4] From 1994 to 1998, Malinowski was a speechwriter for secretaries of state Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, as well as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State.[5] From 1998 to 2001, Malinowski served as senior director on the National Security Council at the White House, where he oversaw the drafting of President Bill Clinton's foreign policy speeches and strategic communications efforts around the world.[4][5]

Human Rights Watch

From 2001 to 2013, Malinowski was the Washington director for Human Rights Watch.[4][5][6] In this position, he advocated for the end of torture techniques and black sites utilized by the U.S. government during the course of the War on Terror.[7][8][9] He campaigned for democratic reforms in Myanmar and for financial sanctions on the country's leadership.[10][11] Malinowski argued for the recognition of women's rights as a precondition to any peace talks with the Taliban.[12] He also pushed for a no-fly zone in Syria during the ongoing civil war.[13]

Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Malinowski was seen by some[14][15] as a likely nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor but his previous registration as a lobbyist while at Human Rights Watch necessitated a waiver from the President. On July 8, 2013, during President Obama's second term, Malinowski was nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.[16][17] Malinowski testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 24, 2013[18] and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 2, 2014.[19][20][21] According to columnist Jennifer Rubin, Malinowski was praised in 2014 by leaders from both parties for his defense of human rights and his work toward ending torture.[22]

While working in the State Department, Malinowski spearheaded efforts to assist persecuted religious minorities targeted by ISIS in Iraq.[23][24] He also oversaw efforts to sanction North Korean officials for human rights abuses and increase the flow of uncensored information into the country.[25][26] He led State Department efforts to defend the LGBT community around the world and oversaw the appointment of the first Special Envoy for LGBT rights.[27][28] Malinowski backed United Nations' efforts to investigate possible war crimes committed during the Sri Lankan Civil War.[29] He also worked on decreasing civilian casualties from US military operations in the Middle East[30] and assisted with sanctioning Russian officials for human rights abuses.[31]

Malinowski at his campaign headquarters in Martinsville, New Jersey

In July 2014, Malinowski was expelled by Bahrain's government after meeting with members of an opposition group in the course of a scheduled visit.[32][33][34] The foreign ministry of Bahrain argued that Malinowski's meeting improperly intervened in the country's affairs but noted the incident would not affect Bahrain-United States relations.[32] The U.S. State Department released a statement of concern about the actions while Secretary of State John Kerry called Bahrain's actions unacceptable and contrary to diplomatic protocol.[32][35][36] Malinowski returned to the country in December 2014 with the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.[37][38]

Following the end of his tenure at the State Department, Malinowski joined fellow former Obama officials to lobby Congress in an effort to prevent the Trump Administration from lifting the sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.[39] He criticized Donald Trump for having an "obscene fondness" for the world's tyrants and for instituting a "complete departure from decades of American tradition."[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

On October 2, 2017, Malinowski announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in New Jersey's 7th congressional district in the 2018 midterm elections.[40] He decided to run for Congress after the November 2016 election of Donald Trump, which he saw as an indication that America was in "deep trouble."[41] Malinowski said he decided to run for office because of what he called the Trump administration's "effort to take down the Affordable Care Act with no viable replacement. It was the Muslim ban, and attacks on immigrants, it was the tearing up of alliances and commitments internationally. It was the taking down of environmental protections, it was refusing to invest in infrastructure."[42]

Malinowski supports the Affordable Care Act and criticized the Republican Party for "whittling away at the Affordable Care Act year after year."[43] He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as enhanced collective bargaining rights and protections for workers.[44] Malinowski sees the Democratic Party, in contrast to the GOP, as promoting fiscal responsibility, law enforcement, family values, and patriotism.[45]

His endorsements included the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee[46] and the Communications Workers of America.[44] On June 5, 2018, he faced social worker Peter Jacob and lawyer Goutam Jois.[47] He defeated Jacob and Jois, receiving 66.8% of the vote and winning all counties in the district[48][49] Malinowski went onto to defeat incumbent Republican Leonard Lance.

Malinowski criticized Lance, saying he "shifted to the right when he was scared of the Tea Party and he's moving to the left when he's scared of his increasingly moderate and energized constituents."[50] On November 6th, Malinowski won the election, receiving 51.7% of the vote. While Malinowski and Lance each carried three of the six counties in the district, Malinowski won the district's shares of Somerset and Union counties by a combined 22,300 votes, more than the overall margin of 16,200 votes.[51][52] When he took office in January 2019, he became the first Democrat to represent the 7th and its predecessors since 1961.

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Malinowski owns a home in Washington, D.C., and was registered to vote there as of March 2018.[53] He began renting a home in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, in September 2017.[54][55]

Malinowski's stepfather Blair Clark was a journalist. Clark's sister was Anne Martindell, a member of the New Jersey State Senate (1974-1977) and a United States ambassador to New Zealand (1979-1981).[56]


  1. ^ a b c "Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: Who Is Tom Malinowski?". AllGov. July 21, 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Malinowski Declares". InsiderNJ. October 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results". New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Tom Malinowski". U.S. Department of State. April 3, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Malinowski, Tom". Center for Responsive Politics. April 3, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ a b Politico magazine, Susan B. Glasser, June 19, 2017, The Man Who Argued With Dictators: Tom Malinowski spent years trying to get President Obama to care more about human rights. Now, he's figuring out what to do with a president who doesn't seem to care at all., Retrieved May 24, 2018, "...Malinowski spent the past few years pushing Obama from the inside on human rights ... former Washington director of Human Rights Watch ... leading the resistance from the outside to Trump and what he calls his "obscene" fondness for the world's tyrants...."
  7. ^ "President Relents, Backs Torture Ban". Washington Post. December 16, 2005.
  8. ^ "Rice says U.S. personnel avoid cruel practices". USA Today. December 7, 2005.
  9. ^ "Call Cruelty What It Is". Washington Post. March 18, 2006.
  10. ^ "Letting Burma Back In". Foreign Policy. March 30, 2012.
  11. ^ "No Longer the Generals' Burma". Washington Post. March 21, 2007.
  12. ^ "How settling with the Taliban puts women at risk". Washington Post. August 15, 2010.
  13. ^ "Highlights of the latest Clinton emails". CNN. February 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Nonprofit Groups Seeking Exceptions to Lobby Rule". Washington Post. April 20, 2009.
  15. ^ "The Good Lobbyist". Washington Post. April 22, 2006.
  16. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". White House. July 8, 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ Heil, Emily (July 9, 2013). "White House hires lobbyist Malinowski". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ "Statement for the Record by Tom Malinowski, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State" (PDF). United States Senate. September 24, 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "Senate confirms State Dept. nominee". Washington Blade. April 9, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ "Senate Confirms Tom Malinowski as New Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor". Human Rights First. April 2, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "Malinowski confirmed at DRL". Democracy Digest. April 4, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, February 21, 2014, Free Tom Malinowski, Retrieved May 23, 2018, "...Tom is widely respected for the indispensable role he has played in defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms, from ending torture to advancing democracy ... He received wide support from Democrats and Republicans who have been united in their criticism of the administration's ... attitude toward human rights....
  23. ^ "A/S Malinowski Briefs Congressional Leaders on ISIL's Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iraq and Syria=". United States of America Geneva Mission. September 10, 2014.
  24. ^ "Malinowski Testimony" (PDF). U.S. Senate. December 9, 2014.
  25. ^ "U.S. compiling list of North Korea human rights violators". UPI. April 27, 2016.
  26. ^ "Sanctions on N.K. leader 'just the start,' more blacklisting to come: senior U.S. diplomat". Yonhap. July 8, 2016.
  27. ^ "Support for Gay Rights in Africa". December 29, 2015.
  28. ^ "Welcome to the Special Envoy for LGBT Rights". Human Rights Campaign. February 27, 2015.
  29. ^ "U.S. to Support Sri Lanka Plan to Investigate War Crimes". NY Times. August 26, 2015.
  30. ^ "Obama's New Executive Order Increases Drone Transparency, Official Says". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. August 2016.
  31. ^ "Five Russians blacklisted for alleged human rights abuses". Washington Post. January 9, 2017.
  32. ^ a b c "US diplomat Tom Malinowski expelled from Bahrain". BBC News. July 7, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  33. ^ "Bahrain: U.S. diplomat 'unwelcome and should immediately leave'". CNN. July 8, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ "Bahrain expels top US diplomat after meeting with main opposition group". RT. July 7, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ Schwartz, Felicia (July 14, 2014). "Tension Between Bahrain and U.S. Continues Over Diplomat's Expulsion". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016.
  36. ^ "Statement on the Decision by the Government of Bahrain To Find Assistant Secretary Malinowski Persona Non Grata and To Expel Him From Bahrain". U.S. Department of State. July 7, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  37. ^ Gordon, Michael (December 3, 2014). "Expelled U.S. Official to Return to Bahrain". New York Times. Retrieved 2016.
  38. ^ "Press Availability with A/S Tom Malinowski and A/S Anne Patterson". U.S. Department of State. December 4, 2014. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  39. ^ "Former Diplomats: Trump Team Sought to Lift Sanctions on Russia". NBC News. June 1, 2017.
  40. ^ Kamisar, Ben (October 2, 2017). "Obama State Department official to run for House in NJ". The Hill. Retrieved 2018.
  41. ^ Albert R. Hunt, May 2, 2018, Bloomberg News, Some Democratic Candidates Look Mighty Familiar, Retrieved May 15, 2018, "... Malinowski, an assistant secretary of State for President Obama and a State Department official under Clinton ... America, he believes, "is in deep trouble."..."
  42. ^ May 27, 2018, NBC News Washington (Channel 4), Fired Up by Trump, Dozens of Former Obama Staffers Run for Office: The surge of Democratic candidates with ties to Obama has the potential to fill state and federal legislatures with like-minded allies, Retrieved May 30, 2018, " was the effort to take down the Affordable Care Act with no viable replacement..."
  43. ^ Insider New Jersey, May 12, 2018, Staff writer, CD7 Democratic Challenger Malinowski Formally Opens his Main Headquarters with Pallone, Retrieved May 14, 2018, "... He'll fight to protect the Affordable Care Act....."
  44. ^ a b David Wildstein, April 23, 2018, New Jersey Globe, CWA Endorses Malinowski, Retrieved May 15, 2018
  45. ^ E. J. Dionne, July 15, 2018, Washington Post, Does the blue wave start in Jersey?, Retrieved July 16, 2018
  46. ^ April 27, 2018, New Jersey Hills, First Lady Tammy Murphy to speak at county Democratic brunch on Sunday, April 29, Retrieved May 15, 2018, "...Tom Malinowski ... endorsed by the HCDC ..."
  47. ^ "New Jersey's 7th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2018.
  48. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results: Seventh House District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved .
  49. ^ "Candidates for House of Representatives For PRIMARY ELECTION 06/05/2018 Election," (PDF). July 20, 2018.
  50. ^ Jonathan D. Salant, May 14, 2018,, This N.J. Republican is in big trouble because of Trump. Here's what he's doing about it., Retrieved May 15, 2018
  51. ^ "New Jersey's Seventh House District Election Results: Tom Malinowski vs. Leonard Lance". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved .
  52. ^ "Official List Candidates for House of Representatives For GENERAL ELECTION 11/06/2018 Election" (PDF). December 3, 2018.
  53. ^ Pizarro, Max (March 6, 2018). "Residency Question Hounds Malinowski on Eve of Union County Vote". InsiderNJ. Retrieved 2018.
  54. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (July 16, 2018). "What's really going on with all these 'carpetbagger' political attacks in New Jersey?". Retrieved 2018.
  55. ^ Pathe, Simone (March 6, 2018). "Could Past DC Residency Be Liability for Some Democrats?". Roll Call. Retrieved 2018.
  56. ^ Wildstein, David (March 6, 2018). "Malinowski and the residency thing". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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