Lisa Brown (Washington politician)

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Lisa J. Brown
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 1997 – January 2013
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 3rd district
In office
January 1993 – January 1997
Personal details
Born (1956-10-09) October 9, 1956 (age 61)
Robinson, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Residence Spokane, Washington
Alma mater University of Illinois (B.A.), University of Colorado (M.A.), University of Colorado (Ph.D.)
Profession candidate, former legislator, former university chancellor, former university professor

Lisa J. Brown (born October 9, 1956) is an American politician from the state of Washington. She is the former Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, and is currently running for US Congress, Eastern Washington CD 05.

She was previously a Washington legislator. A Democrat, she represented the Spokane-based 3rd district in the Washington House of Representatives and Washington State Senate from 1993 to 2013.

Brown left the Washington Senate in January 2013 and soon became the Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, from which she resigned in May, 2017 in order to run for US Congress.


Washington State Legislator

After serving two terms in the House, Brown was appointed to serve as chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee in her first term. In 2002, she was elected by her colleagues as the leader of the Democratic Caucus. In 2005, she became the first woman Democratic Senate Majority Leader in state history.

As Senate Majority Leader, Brown spearheaded a variety of health-related initiatives. She led the creation of the state's Mental Health Parity Act of 2005, which improved the insurance coverage of mental health services for Washington residents. Among her successes was the expansion of children's health care and passage of the legislation to create the nonprofit Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation.

Brown was also the prime sponsor of critical state-wide economic tools such as the Rainy Day fund constitutional amendment, the Strategic Economic Development Fund, and the Local Increment Financing Tool.

During Brown's tenure as Senate Majority Leader, legislative logjams lasting for decades were broken, resulting in the passage of several pieces of landmark legislation, including the simple majority for schools constitutional amendment and marriage equality.

Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane

Lisa Brown led the development of WSU’s rapidly growing, world-class center for health sciences education and research. Her efforts contributed to the successful accreditation and creation of a second public medical school in the state of Washington, expanding health care where it's needed most across Eastern Washington.

Under Lisa’s leadership, WSU Spokane doubled vital research into addictions, cancer and neurological diseases, and helped create a teaching health clinic which trains medical residents to serve patients across eastern Washington.

Honors and Awards received by Lisa[edit]

  • King Cole Luminary, Leadership Spokane (2016)
  • Best of the West, West Plains Chamber of Commerce (2016)
  • Women in Business Leadership, Catalyst Magazine (2016)
  • Moving the Needle on Growing Graduate Medical Education, Empire Health Foundation (2015)
  • Justice Hero 2013, Center for Justice (2013)
  • Woman of the Year, Washington State University (2013)
  • Advocate of the Year in Public Policy, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital (2013)
  • Special Recognition Award, Spokane Guilds’ School and Neuromuscular Center (2012)
  • Inaugural Award for Ethical Leadership, Faith Action Network (2012)
  • State of Washington Equality Award, LGBTQA Centers At UW, WSU, and EWU (2012)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Early Learning Action Alliance (2012)
  • Making Spokane Better Award, Salvation Army of Spokane (2012)
  • Legislator of the Year, Washington Student Association (2011)
  • Champion for Children, Children’s Alliance (2010)
  • Maternal & Child Health Award, March of Dimes (2008)
  • Louise Miller Arts Advocacy Award, Washington State Arts Alliance (2008)
  • Bob Olsen Memorial Conservation Eagle Award, Northwest Energy Coalition (2007)
  • Cynthia Gillespie Award, Northwest Women’s Law Center (2006)
  • Champion of Youth, Chase Youth Commission (2006)
  • Legislator of the Year, Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (2005)


Brown has earned the following educational degrees:[1]

Brown was an associate professor of economics at Eastern Washington University from 1981 to 2001 and served as an associate professor in Gonzaga University's graduate-level organizational leadership program from 2001 to 2012.[2]

She is a native of Robinson, Illinois, and has a son, Lucas. She lives in Spokane with her husband, Brian.


External links[edit]