|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Jersey's 7th district
January 3, 2019
|Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor|
April 3, 2014 - January 20, 2017
|Deputy||Virginia L. Bennett|
|Education||University of California, Berkeley (BA)|
St Antony's College, Oxford (MPhil)
Tomasz P. Malinowski (born September 23, 1965) 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
From 2001 to 2013, Malinowski was the Washington director for Human Rights Watch. 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. He campaigned for democratic reforms in Myanmar and for financial sanctions on the country's leadership. Malinowski argued for the recognition of women's rights as a precondition to any peace talks with the Taliban. He also pushed for a no-fly zone in Syria during the ongoing civil war.
Malinowski was seen by some 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. Malinowski testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 24, 2013 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 2, 2014. 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.
While working in the State Department, Malinowski spearheaded efforts to assist persecuted religious minorities targeted by ISIS in Iraq. He also oversaw efforts to sanction North Korean officials for human rights abuses and increase the flow of uncensored information into the country. 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. Malinowski backed United Nations' efforts to investigate possible war crimes committed during the Sri Lankan Civil War. He also worked on decreasing civilian casualties from US military operations in the Middle East and assisted with sanctioning Russian officials for human rights abuses.
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. 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. 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. Malinowski returned to the country in December 2014 with the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.
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. 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."
On October 2, 2017, Malinowski announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in New Jersey's 7th congressional district in the 2018 midterm elections. 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." 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."
Malinowski supports the Affordable Care Act and criticized the Republican Party for "whittling away at the Affordable Care Act year after year." He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as enhanced collective bargaining rights and protections for workers. Malinowski sees the Democratic Party, in contrast to the GOP, as promoting fiscal responsibility, law enforcement, family values, and patriotism.
His endorsements included the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee and the Communications Workers of America. On June 5, 2018, he faced social worker Peter Jacob and lawyer Goutam Jois. He defeated Jacob and Jois, receiving 66.8% of the vote and winning all counties in the district 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." 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. When he took office in January 2019, he became the first Democrat to represent the 7th and its predecessors since 1961.
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).
| Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Virginia L. Bennett
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority