NJ-07: Tom Kean, Jr. (R)
PROFILE

November 3, 2020 by TWN Staff

About Kean:

Tom Kean, Jr., is grandson of former U.S. Rep. Robert Kean and son of former Gov. Thomas H. Kean, Sr. 

While studying history at Dartmouth College, Dartmouth’s Exchange Program granted Kean the opportunity to transform classroom learning into practical experience. In 1988, he traveled to Budapest, Hungary, and the Soviet Union for four months. Months after returning to the United States, the Berlin Wall was torn down.

Kean embarked on his career in public service after graduating from university, when he received an appointment from President George H.W. Bush to work in the Environmental Protection Agency, where he met his wife, Rhonda. Following the Bush administration, he served in Rep. Bob Franks’ office in Washington, D.C. He was also a vice president of a fire department where he volunteered as a firefighter and an emergency medical technician.

He attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. There, he received a master’s degree in law and diplomacy, and was also employed as a graduate school instructor. He completed his doctoral studies ABD at Fletcher.

In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly. Two years later, he was named to the upper house of the state legislature.

Kean was nominated and selected for the inaugural class of the Rodel Fellowship program by The Aspen Institute, where he finished a fellowship program for young public officials. In 2002, he was named one of 40 state leaders to be recognized as a Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments for high achievement and service to state government.

Then in 2008, his peers elected him Senate Republican leader. Kean currently serves on the Senate Higher Education, Senate Commerce and Legislative Oversight committees. He is also the Senate appointee to the New Jersey Council on the Arts, the New Jersey Israel Commission and the New Jersey Amistad Commission.

Tom, Rhonda and their two daughters reside in Westfield.

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