Adam Kinzinger was first sworn into the United States House of Representatives in January 2011. He serves as the Representative for the Sixteenth Congressional District of Illinois and is a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. In addition, he served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee during the 113th Congress.
As a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, Kinzinger’s top priorities include strengthening U.S. energy policy and making our nation less reliant on foreign resources. The Sixteenth District is home to four nuclear power plants, miles of windmills, hydropower plants, and ethanol and biodiesel plants. The nuclear energy production alone employs more than 2,500 people throughout the 16th, and coal and natural gas energy are also vital to the district. With such rich energy resources, Kinzinger’s focus is on advancing energy production throughout the 16th district and the United States.
Having served in the Air Force in both Iraq and Afghanistan, another priority for Kinzinger is national security. Kinzinger has always been a strong supporter of U.S. leadership in the Middle East, and he was among the first members of Congress to call for airstrikes against ISIS. He continues to focus on eradicating this threat overtaking the region.
Kinzinger serves as a Deputy Republican Whip. At the age of 37, Kinzinger is one of the youngest Members of Congress and was named one of Time Magazine's 40 under 40 “Rising stars in American politics.” Kinzinger’s goal as a Member of Congress is increased accessibility to his constituents throughout the Sixteenth District, which is essential to develop and grow public trust. In his ongoing efforts to be an accessible and transparent representative, Kinzinger strives to provide constituents with an open and direct line of communication to their federal government.
Education and Early Career
Adam Kinzinger became active in his community early on. As a 20-year old sophomore at Illinois State University (ISU), he challenged a three-term incumbent for the McLean County Board. Kinzinger advocated for restoring local government back into the hands of the people and won a seat on the board, becoming one of the youngest county board members in McLean County history.
During his service on the board, Kinzinger fought for the people’s priorities—opposing pay raises for elected officials, fighting against taxes on small businesses, and supporting measures for increased transparency and public participation in county government. He made constituent services a top priority and was easily accessible to all members of his community, something he proudly continues as a member of Congress.
Kinzinger earned his undergraduate degree from ISU in 2000. He served on the McLean County Board from 1998-2003.
After serving on the McLean County Board for five years, Kinzinger joined the United States Air Force. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in November 2003 and later awarded his pilot wings. He has served in the Air Force Special Operations, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard. He has the current rank of Major.
Kinzinger continues to serve his country as a pilot in the Air National Guard, balancing his service with his busy schedule as a Member of Congress.
Awards and Honors
Kinzinger has been recognized for his civic service both in and out of uniform.
In 2007, he received the United States Air Force Airman's Medal for saving the life of a young woman who was being violently attacked. He wrestled the knife away from the attacker and pinned him to the ground until the police arrived. He was also awarded the National Guard's Valley Forge Cross for Heroism and was selected as the Southeastern Wisconsin American Red Cross Hero of the Year.
Kinzinger has earned the Air Medal six times serving in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Adam Kinzinger’s roots run deep across Illinois. He was born in Kankakee, grew up in Bloomington, and now resides in Channahon. His mother, Jodi, is a retired elementary schoolteacher, and his father Rus is a former CEO of two faith-based organizations. His parents instilled in him and his two siblings the importance of hard work and responsiveness through public service to the needs of those throughout our communities.