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Biography PDF Print

Edolphus “Ed” Towns of Brooklyn, New York is a 14-term veteran in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he serves as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. As committee chair, Rep. Towns has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications, such as: federal procurement, federal agency management, civil service and information policy.

Rep. Towns represents the 10th Congressional District of New York, which includes the neighborhoods of East New York, Canarsie, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cypress Hills, Clinton Hill, Mill Basin, Midwood, downtown Brooklyn, Boreum Hill, as well as parts of Fort Greene and Williamsburg. This area brings together Brooklyn’s diverse populace, including Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Caribbean, Native American, and Jewish residents. Since being elected to the House of Representatives in 1983, Rep. Towns has served in numerous leadership positions including:

· Chairman, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, 2009

· Chairman, Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, 2008

· Ranking Member, Government Reform Subcommittee on GovernmentManagement, Finance and Accountability, 2005-2006

· Ranking Member, Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and FinancialManagement, 2004

· Ranking Minority Member, Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Efficiency andFinancialManagement, 2003

· Ranking Minority Member, Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Finance and HazardousMaterials, 2001-2002

· Ranking Minority Member, Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee onHuman Resources and Intergovernmental Relations, 1996-2000

· Chairman, Government Operations Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations, 1994-1995

· Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus, 1991

As a senior member in Congress, Rep. Towns has successfully championed measures to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers and all Americans, such as: improving the public healthcare system, enhancing consumer protections, strengthening public education, providing access and opportunities for minority business development, developing initiatives to reduce chronic diseases, and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in government. He is currently a member of several congressional caucuses, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, the Congressional Urban Caucus, and the Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus.

Rep. Towns earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He later received a Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York and seven honorary doctorate degrees. In addition to his educational accomplishments, Rep. Towns is also an ordained Baptist minister and is a frequent guest preacher in Brooklyn congregations and churches around the country.

Having entered politics through his dedicated work in various civic associations, Rep. Towns has the distinction of being the first African American to serve as Deputy Brooklyn Borough President. He and his son, Darryl, a New York State Assemblyman, are the first African-American father-son team to serve simultaneously in New York public office. Towns is married to Gwendolyn (Forbes) Towns; the couple has two children, Darryl and Deidra, and five grandchildren.

Committee On Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives | 2157 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, D.C. 20515 | (202) 225-5051