About Tim

Tim Kaine has served people throughout his life as a missionary, civil rights lawyer, teacher and elected official.   He is one of just 20 Americans (and the only Virginian) to have represented his community as a Mayor, Governor and United States Senator.

Tim was elected to the Senate in 2012 as a can-do optimist skilled in bringing people together across old lines of party, race or region.   In the Senate, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget and Foreign Relations Committees.  He is Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Near East, South and Central Asian Affairs, overseeing American foreign policy in this critical region, from Morocco to Bangladesh.  

Tim’s Armed Services work focuses on crafting smart defense strategy in a changing world and also enables him to tackle a personal mission—the reduction of unemployment among veterans, especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans.  His first legislation, the Troop Talent Act of 2013, established new standards to help active duty servicemembers attain civilian credentials for military skills to assist their transition into the workforce – a bill inspired by conversations Tim had with Virginians on the campaign trail.

On the Budget Committee, Tim used his experience making tough budget decisions in local and state office in Virginia to help Congress pass a two-year budget agreement that offsets the worst impacts of sequestration that had disproportionately impacted the Commonwealth. He passionately believes that working in compromise with the House to produce regular budgets will help provide the economic certainty necessary to grow the American economy.  

On Foreign Relations, Tim works to enhance American diplomatic leadership, with a special focus on the Middle East and Latin America.   As one of the Senate’s few members fluent in Spanish, Tim is chair of the US/Mexico Inter-Parliamentary Group and honorary chairman of the US-Spain Council.  He is currently working with a bipartisan group of Senators to revise the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and establish a more orderly consultative relationship between Congress and the President regarding the initiation of military action. 

Tim’s other priority is expanding economic opportunity for all through infrastructure investment, better workforce training, immigration reform and smart strategies to expand health care access while reducing costs to families, businesses and government.

Tim has also introduced important legislation for Virginia, including a bill to preserve the state’s historic Civil War battlegrounds, as well as legislation to grant federal recognition to six Virginia Native American tribes.

Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City.  He was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School and started his public service career by taking a year off from Harvard to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras in 1980 – 1981.  After law school, he practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability.  He also began teaching part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987 and continues his involvement with the University to this day.

Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond.  He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006.  During his tenure as Governor, Virginia attained national recognition as the best state for business in America, the best managed state in America, and the state where a child is most likely to have a successful life.  During the nation’s worst recession in 70 years, Tim worked to ensure that Virginia had one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest median incomes in the nation, all while maintaining its stellar Triple A bond rating for fiscal stewardship.  Tim was Chair of the Southern Governors’ Association from 2008 – 2009 and Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 – 2011.

Tim is married to Anne Holton, who currently serves as Virginia Secretary of Education. A former legal aid lawyer and juvenile court judge, Anne recently ran Great Expectations, a program for more than 500 foster children attending Virginia community colleges.  Tim and Anne revel in the adventures of their three grown children and live in the same Northside Richmond neighborhood where they moved as newlyweds nearly 30 years ago.