Janet Howell has been Virginia's State Senator since 1992 and is one of the Commonwealth’s most influential leaders. She is second in seniority and the longest serving female Virginia Senator. She is also the first woman to chair the powerful Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, and serves on the Courts of Justice, Education and Health, Privileges and Elections, and Rules Committees, and is a Senate budget conferee.
Senator Howell is credited with major legal reforms. She headed the overhaul of Virginia’s family violence laws. She led efforts to protect children from sexual predators. Virginia has genetic information privacy legislation due to her efforts. She spearheaded the mental health law reform in the Senate following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Education, children, and families have always been the Senator's top priorities.
Her work has been widely praised and honored. The American Academy of Pediatrics named her their National Child Advocate of the Year. The Virginia Sheriffs have repeatedly called her Senator of the Year. Numerous human services organizations, including the Virginia Interfaith Center, have also given her awards.
A community leader prior to running for office, Janet was a PTA president, community association president, and Chair of the State Board of Social Services.
Janet earned her BA at Oberlin College (Government) and her MA at the University of Pennsylvania (International Relations).
Always approachable, Janet loves representing the people of the 32nd District, which includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax Counties. She loves listening to her constituents' views, and solving their problems with state government.