Chrissy Houlahan

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Chrissy Houlahan
Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 6th district
Assuming office
January 3, 2019
SucceedingRyan Costello
Personal details
Christina Jampoler

(1967-06-05) June 5, 1967 (age 51)
Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationStanford University (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Air Force
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain (Reserve)
UnitUnited States Air Force Reserve

Christina Houlahan (née Jampoler; born June 5, 1967)[1] is an American Democratic politician, engineer, entrepreneur, and former United States Air Force officer. She is the 2018 U.S. Representative-elect for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District. Her opponent in the 2018 election was Greg McCauley (R). She is the first Democrat since John Hickman to represent Chester County, Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives.[2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Houlahan spent her childhood on various U.S. naval bases across the country, including on Oahu.[3][4] Her father, Andrew C.A. Jampoler, a naval aviator, left Poland at age four to escape the Holocaust,[5][6] and became an historian and author.[7][8][9][10]

Houlahan, citing her idols as Indiana Jones and Sally Ride,[11] earned her Bachelor's Degree[12][13][14] in Engineering from Stanford University in 1989, on an AFROTC scholarship.[4] She then earned a Masters Degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.[4][15]


After graduating from Stanford University, Houlahan spent 3 years on U.S. Air Force active duty at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA. There she served as a project manager working on air and space defense technologies.[4] After leaving active duty for the Air Force Reserves, Houlahan went to work for the start-up sportswear company AND1 as Chief Operating Officer. As part of the employee benefits program the company offered 40 paid hours of community service at a location of the employee's choosing. Houlahan dedicated her hours to working with girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).[4] Houlahan became Chief Operating Officer of B-Lab, a non-profit start-up, when AND1 was sold.[6]

Citing a need to experience the problems in the U.S. educational system first-hand, Houlahan entered the lifelong learning program at University of Pennsylvania where she re-took courses in the hard sciences. She enrolled in the Teach for America program and began working as an 11th-grade science teacher at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia.[16] She withdrew from the Teach for America program after one year and joined Springboard Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based non-profit focusing on early childhood literacy in underserved populations nationwide. Houlahan served as both President and CFO/COO of Springboard Collaborative before leaving to focus on her political campaign.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives career[edit]

2018 Election[edit]

Houlahan is one of seven Pennsylvania women running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.[17] Houlahan has said that one of the experiences that motivated her to run for Congress was her organization of a bus trip to the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on January 21, 2017.[6] When asked why she chose to begin her political career by running for Congress and not a lower office, she said, “I don’t have time for that. The stakes are too high, and I think I’m qualified."[18]

Running in Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, Houlahan was uncontested in the Democratic primary and faced first-time candidate Greg McCauley in the general election, incumbent Ryan Costello (R) having withdrawn from the race.[19] PA-6 is one of the recently redistricted districts as a result of the January 2018 Pennsylvania Supreme Court gerrymandering ruling.[20]

Houlahan ran on a platform that includes healthcare, job creation, and campaign finance reform.[21] Other campaign issues she identifies include education, family issues, and veteran's issues.[22] Houlahan has a strong record of campaign fundraising,[23] with donations totaling almost $3 million so far.[24][4] She is also endorsed by many organizations, including Emily's List,[25] Human Rights Campaign,[26] Giffords,[27] Project 100,[28] Vote Vets,[29] the Service Employees International Union-PA (SEIU PA)[30] and several other local unions.[29]

On November 6, 2018, Houlahan easily defeated Republican challenger Greg McCauley, garnering 58.8% of the vote. [31]

Personal life[edit]

Houlahan lives in Devon, Pennsylvania with her spouse of 27 years, Bart, who she met at Stanford. They put on hold their goal of running a foot race in every state before age 50 when she entered the race for U.S. Representative.[22] The couple have two adult daughters.[16]


  1. ^ "Candidate Conversation - Chrissy Houlahan (D) | News & Analysis | Inside Elections". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  2. ^ @ChescoCourtNews, Michael P. Rellahan Staff Writer On Twitter. "Democrat Chrissy Houlahan wins historic Congressional race". Daily Local News. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e f Mervis. "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress". Science Magazine.
  5. ^ "Inspired by Trump, These Jewish Women Have Decided to Run for Office". Haaretz.
  6. ^ a b c d Latimer. "Air Force vet challenges Rep. Ryan Costello". LD News.
  7. ^ "2012 Board of Director Candidates - U.S. Naval Institute". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Jampoler, Andrew C.A. 1942- -". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Leadership - Naval Historical Foundation". 27 September 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Untitled" (PDF). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Alumni US - Stanford University (1989)". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Google Scholar". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Searles & Richmond. "Angered by Trump's election, this Pennsylvania business leader and U.S. Navy veteran challenged an incumbent Republican for a seat in the U.S. House. Then he dropped out". The Story Exchange.
  17. ^ Gabriel. "Pennsylvania Primaries Deliver Strong Wins for Democratic Women". New York Times.
  18. ^ Mervis, Jeffrey. "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress". Science. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  19. ^ Prokop. "These 6 Pennsylvania Democratic nominees are key to the battle for House control". Vox.
  20. ^ "Chrissy Houlahan". Ballotpedia.
  21. ^ Sasko. "The No-B.S. Guide to Philadelphia-Area Women Running for Congress". Philly Magazine.
  22. ^ a b Rettew. "2 candidates announce bid for 6th District seat in Democratic primary". Daily Local.
  23. ^ Cole. "Houlahan Raises $840K in Q2". Politics PA.
  24. ^ "HOULAHAN, CHRISSY". Federal Election Commission.
  26. ^ Metzger. "Human Rights Campaign Endorses Chrissy Houlahan for Congress".
  28. ^ "Chrissy Houlahan". Project 100.
  29. ^ a b Rellahan. "Casey endorses Houlahan in 6th Congressional Dist., Costello challenges map". Potts Mercury.
  30. ^ "SEIU PA State Council Announces Endorsed Candidates for 2018 Primary Election". SEIU PA.
  31. ^ "Chrissy Houlahan". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 7 November 2018.