Adam Schiff

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For the fictional television character, see Adam Schiff (Law & Order).
Adam Schiff
Adam Schiff, official photo portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 28th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Howard Berman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Henry Waxman
Succeeded by Tony Cardenas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by James E. Rogan
Succeeded by Brad Sherman
California State Senator
In office
Personal details
Born (1960-06-22) June 22, 1960 (age 54)
Framingham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Eve Schiff
Children Alexa Schiff
Elijah Schiff
Residence Burbank, California, U.S.
Alma mater Stanford University
Harvard Law School
Occupation Attorney
Religion Judaism

Adam Bennett Schiff (born June 22, 1960) is the U.S. Representative for California's 28th congressional district. He has served in Congress since 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Schiff represented the 27th and 29th Districts between 2003 and 2013, which included the areas of Alhambra, Altadena, San Gabriel, Burbank, Glendale, South Pasadena, Temple City, Monterey Park, and Pasadena. In 2010, his district was re-districted to include new areas including Hollywood, Echo Park, Hollywood Hills, La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Sunland-Tujunga, and West Hollywood, in addition to areas he represented before like Burbank, Glendale, and the western part of Pasadena.

Schiff has become an influential voice for his party in the House of Representatives on foreign policy and national security issues.[1] He serves as a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Ranking Member on the Committee's Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. In 2007, he became a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He previously served on the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee, and serves on the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Early life, education and career[edit]

He was born in Framingham, Massachusetts to a traditional Jewish family, and moved to Oakland during high school.[2] He received a political science degree from Stanford University and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

After receiving his degree from Harvard, Schiff was a lawyer, working as an assistant prosecutor in the Los Angeles branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office. During his time as an assistant U.S. Attorney, he gained attention by prosecuting a case against Richard Miller, a former FBI agent convicted of "passing secret documents to the Soviet Union in exchange for a promised $65,000 in gold and cash.".[3] The first time Miller was tried, it resulted in a hung jury; the second time, it resulted in a conviction overturned on appeal.[4]

California State Senate[edit]

Schiff was elected to the State Senate after two unsuccessful attempts in 1996.[5] He was a member of the California State Senate, serving as the chair of that body's judiciary committee during his one term.

During his tenure in the California Senate, Schiff authored Senate Bill 1847, Chapter 1021. Signed into law in 1998, this created the Pasadena Blue Line Authority, which continued work on the stalled then-Blue Line light rail extension to Pasadena, which would later be named the Gold Line instead.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Armenian Genocide[edit]

Schiff has been a leading voice in Armenian-American issues; he claims to have over 70,000 Armenian-Americans in his district.[6][7] He has strongly pushed for signing of the US House Resolution 106 recognizing the Armenian Genocide. On October 11, 2007, the resolution sponsored by Schiff was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[8] Turkey's prime minister said that approval of the resolution would endanger U.S.-Turkey relations.[9] The resolution was again approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 4, 2010 by a 23-22 margin.[10]

Investigation into Attacks on Diplomatic Facility in Benghazi[edit]

Schiff was appointed to the House Select Committee on Benghazi in 2014 by Nancy Pelosi to serve as one of the five Democrats on the Committee.[11] Schiff had participated in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence investigation into the attacks on the Benghazi diplomatic compound, which found that the initial talking points provided by the intelligence community were flawed but without an intention to deceive and that diplomatic facilities across the world lacked adequate security.[12] The reports findings were unanimous and bipartisan.

Before he was appointed as a Member of the Benghazi Select Committee, Schiff called the establishment of a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack a "colossal waste of time," and said Democratic leaders should not appoint any members, stating: "I think it's just a tremendous red herring and a waste of taxpayer resources."[13] Despite those reservations, he still accepted an appointment to the Committee because if he felt he "could add value, [he] would serve."[14]

Committee assignments[edit]


  • Co-chair of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus
  • Co-founded the Democratic Study Group on National Security
  • Co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press
  • House Democracy Assistance Commission

Political campaigns[edit]


Schiff was elected in 2000, defeating Republican incumbent Jim Rogan. The district had once been a Republican stronghold, but had been trending Democratic since the early 1990s. In what was the most expensive House race ever at the time[15] (several elections in 2006[16] and 2008[17] later eclipsed it), Schiff unseated Rogan, taking 53 percent of the vote to Rogan's 44 percent. He became only the second Democrat to represent this district since its creation in 1913 (it was the 9th District from 1913 to 1933, the 11th District from 1933–43, the 20th District from 1943 to 1975, the 22nd District from 1975 to 1993, and the 27th District from 1993 to 2003).

Subsequent Campaigns for Congress[edit]

In 2010, Schiff defeated Tea Party backed Republican John Colbert for a 6th term.[18] In 2012, Schiff defeated Republican Phil Jennerjahn.[19] In 2014, Schiff defeated independent candidate Steve Stokes. [20]

Personal life[edit]

Schiff has settled in Burbank, California with his wife Eve Marion (née Sanderson)[21] and two children, Alexa and Elijah.[22]

He has participated in multiple endurance challenges including triathlons and marathons. He was the only Congressman to participate in the inaugural Washington, D.C. triathlon in 2010,[23] and has since participated in other races in Philadelphia, New York City and Malibu.[24] In 2014, he became the first Member of Congress participate in the AIDS/LifeCycle, a seven day charity bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise awareness and funding to fight HIV and AIDS.[25] The tour includes up to 2,500 bicyclist and more than 500 support crew participants who cycle or crew to raise funds for HIV/AIDS services & raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.


  1. ^ Neuman, Johanna (5 June 2005). "Congressman Is Gaining a Name in Foreign Affairs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Peschiutta, Claudia (22 July 2000). "Meet Adam Schiff". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Soble, Ronald (10 October 1990). "Ex-FBI Agent Miller Guilty of Espionage". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Fleeman, Michael (22 August 1990). "THIRD ESPIONAGE TRIAL BEGINS FOR FORMER FBI AGENT". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Mills, James (30 August 2012). "Adam Schiff Enjoying Getting to Know West Hollywood". Patch-AOL. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Washington Post: "Worse than irrelevant: A congressional resolution about massacres in Turkey 90 years ago endangers present-day U.S. security", p. A16, October 10, 2007
  7. ^ Wall Street Journal: "Political History", Review & Outlook, October 2, 2007
  8. ^ "US House Speaker: Armenian Genocide Measure Will Go Forward". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  9. ^ "Turkey's PM says U.S. relations in danger". Reuters. October 12, 2007. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  10. ^ Simon, Richard; Watanabe, Teresa (March 5, 2010). "House panel narrowly passes recognition of Armenian genocide". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  11. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (22 May 2014). "Pelosi Picks 5 Democrats for Panel on Benghazi". New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Walsh, Dierdre (6 August 2014). "Benghazi probe presses ahead despite new report". Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Hicks, Josh (4 May 2014). "Schiff: Benghazi select committee a ‘colossal waste of time’". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Mikailian, Arin (24 May 2014). "House appoints Schiff to Benghazi investigation committee". Burbank Leader. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Most Expensive Races 2000". Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Most Expensive Races 2006". Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Most Expensive Races 2008". Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^
  20. ^ Kellam, Mark. "Schiff, Gatto easily win their political races". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  21. ^ Stone, Kurt F. The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members Lanham, Md. | Scarecrow Press | 2011
  22. ^ "Meet Adam Schiff « Adam Schiff for Congress". 1960-06-22. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  23. ^ Wilkie, Christina (21 June 2010). "Schiff completes inaugural D.C. Triathlon". Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Rojas, Warren (30 May 2014). "Adam Schiff Mounts Most Grueling Endurance Challenge Yet". Roll Call. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  25. ^ St. John, Stevie (31 May 2014). "Rep. Schiff Pedaling from SF to LA with HIV/AIDS Ride". WEHOville. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James E. Rogan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th congressional district

Succeeded by
Brad Sherman
Preceded by
Henry Waxman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th congressional district

Succeeded by
Tony Cardenas
Preceded by
Howard Berman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Rogers
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Pat Tiberi