Max Rose

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Max Rose
Max Rose, official 116th Congress photo portrait.jpg
Special Assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense for COVID-19
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byPosition created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th district
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byDan Donovan
Succeeded byNicole Malliotakis
Personal details
Born (1986-11-28) November 28, 1986 (age 34)
New York City, New York, US
Political partyDemocratic
Leigh Byrne
(m. 2018)
EducationWesleyan University (BA)
London School of Economics (MSc)
University of Oxford
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service2010–2015 (active)
2015–present (National Guard)
RankArmy-USA-OF-02.svg Captain
Unit1st Armored Division
69th Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan

Max N. Rose[1] (born November 28, 1986) is an American politician who served a single term from 2019–21 as a United States Congressman from New York and who is currently serving as special assistant to the United States secretary of defense for COVID-19.

From 2012 to 2013, Rose served in the U.S. Army as a platoon leader in combat in the War in Afghanistan. He was wounded while on duty,[2][3][4] and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.[5]

As a Democrat, in 2018, Rose defeated incumbent Republican Dan Donovan to win election to New York's 11th congressional district. The district includes all of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn.[6] In the 2020 election, Rose lost to the Republican nominee, State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.

After losing reelection to Congress, Rose briefly considered running for mayor of New York City in the 2021 election, but ultimately did not enter the race. On January 20, 2021, he was sworn in as special assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense for COVID-19.

Early life and education[edit]

Rose was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is Jewish.[7] His father, originally from Marine Park, is a medical laboratory executive.[8][9]

His mother is originally from Manhattan's Lower East Side and Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Flatbush, Brooklyn.[8] She is a welfare policy and social work expert and a professor of social welfare policy at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York.[10]

Rose grew up primarily in Park Slope, and attended elementary school there.[11] He celebrated his bar mitzvah at Union Temple of Brooklyn in Prospect Heights.[12]

Rose attended high school at Poly Prep Country Day School in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. He captained its wrestling team, and graduated in 2004.[13]

He subsequently received a bachelor's degree in history from Wesleyan University, graduating in 2008.[14] Rose became involved in politics while a student at Wesleyan University; he worked as an intern for U.S. Senator Cory Booker while Booker was mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

He later earned a master's degree in philosophy and public policy from the London School of Economics, studying there in 2008 and 2009.[8] He also attended the University of Oxford.[15]


Military service[edit]

Rose commissioned in the United States Army in 2010. He served nearly five years of active duty with the U.S. Army 1st Armored Division.[5] In 2012 and 2013, he was a first lieutenant platoon leader during the War in Afghanistan, where he led a combat outpost of 30 American soldiers and suffered wounds to his face and right knee in 2013 after his Stryker armored fighting vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in northern Kandahar Province.[16][17] During his service, he earned the Ranger tab (in Fort Benning), and on deployment in Afghanistan the Combat Infantryman Badge, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart.[18]

He serves as a company commander in the New York Army National Guard with the 69th Infantry Battalion, the second-oldest unit in the United States.[19][20] In March 2020, while serving as a member of Congress, Rose deployed with the National Guard to assist New York City's coronavirus pandemic response effort.[21] He and his unit spent two weeks turning a Staten Island psychiatric center into an emergency hospital for patients with Covid-19.[22]

Post-military career[edit]

After leaving full-time military service, Rose served as Director of Public Engagement for Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson.[23] Thompson was Brooklyn's first Black District Attorney.[16] Rose worked on an initiative known as "Begin Again," helping people with outstanding warrants for minor offenses address them and clean their records.[24]

Later, he served as Chief of Staff at Brightpoint Health, a nonprofit operator of medical outpatient clinics in Staten Island and elsewhere in New York City with 800 employees.[8][25][17] Brightpoint Health's a network of outpatient clinics provides services for the poor and the homeless.[26][27]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Rose ran in the 2018 Democratic Party primary for New York's 11th congressional district against five other candidates, winning with 65% of the vote. In the general election, he faced Republican incumbent Dan Donovan and received endorsements from former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. Rose defeated Donovan, 52.8% to 46.8%, a win widely seen as an upset as most ratings of the race considered Donovan, who had won the 2016 election by 25 points, a slight favorite.[28] He became the youngest male member of the House of Representatives.[29]

The 11th has historically been the most conservative district in New York City, and Staten Island is the city's most conservative borough.[3] For most of the time since the 1990s, it has been the only Republican-held district in the city, and for much of that time it has been the only area in the city in which Republicans usually do well. It has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+3; the other 11 districts in the city have PVIs of at least D+20. Rose was only the second Democrat to hold the seat since 1981, and the first since then to unseat an incumbent Republican. His victory made New York City's House delegation entirely Democratic for only the second time since 1933.


In 2020, Rose was defeated in his reelection bid by State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who represented much of the district's eastern portion. He conceded on November 11.[30] Ultimately, Malliotakis took 53 percent of the vote to Rose's 46.8 percent.[31] It was widely believed that Rose's participation in a George Floyd protest hurt his reelection chances. The 11th district has historically been home to large numbers of New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers and their families, many of whom felt Rose's participation in the protest was tantamount to an endorsement of defunding the police.[32] He was also hampered by Donald Trump carrying Staten Island with 57% of the vote; Staten Island was the only borough where Trump managed even 30 percent.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Rose supports improving transportation infrastructure in South Brooklyn and Staten Island.[35] He favors lowering the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 55, universal health care with a public healthcare option,[36][non-primary source needed] and expanding access to clinics for treating opioid addiction.[35] He voted against Democrat Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (he opined that she "has lost the trust of voters not just in my district, but across the country"), criticized Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (whom he accused of "ignoring Staten Island and South Brooklyn"), and joined the Problem Solvers Caucus (which seeks to foster bipartisan cooperation).[17] He does not support defunding the police, and instead supports higher salaries for police officers coupled with more accountability for New York Police Department leadership.[37]

Foreign policy[edit]

He believes that the United States should rejoin the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Paris Agreement as a way to lower carbon dioxide emissions.[35] Rose urged the State Department to designate Ukraine's Azov Battalion (converted into a Ukrainian National Guard regiment) a Foreign Terrorist Organization.[38]

Gun control[edit]

He supports criminal background checks for gun purchases, and an assault rifle ban. In 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed its first piece of gun-safety legislation since 1994, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act,” co-sponsored by Rose, mandating federal criminal background checks for all gun transfers, including private transactions.[39]

War in Afghanistan[edit]

In March 2019, in response to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's view that Congress "could have leaned more on the larger role of other agencies before Congress decided to invade a nation without a concrete end plan," Rose wrote to the New York Daily News:

"I believe it's long past time we end the war in Afghanistan, but I strongly disagree with the idea that the invasion was wrong on moral or national security grounds ... After our city and country were attacked we were very clear with the Taliban—either they give up Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, or we would come and get them ourselves ... They chose to protect Osama bin Laden, and they rightfully paid the price."[40]

Impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump[edit]

On 2 October 2019, Rose announced his support for an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump for his attempt to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 presidential election.[41]

Later career[edit]

Rose attends a COVID-19 meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley at the Pentagon, January 2021

On December 10, 2020, Rose opened a campaign account with the campaign finance board to raise money for the 2021 New York City Mayoral Election, but announced on January 3, 2021 that he would not run.[42][43][44]

On January 20, 2021, Rose was sworn in as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Senior Advisor, COVID-19) to serve under Lloyd Austin.[45][46]

Electoral history[edit]

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Max Rose 11,539 63.3
Democratic Michael DeVito Jr. 3,642 20.0
Democratic Omar Vaid 1,589 8.7
Democratic Radhakrishna Mohan 719 4.0
Democratic Paul Sperling 486 2.7
Democratic Zach Emig 249 1.4
Total votes 18,224 100.0
New York's 11th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Max Rose 96,850 50.4
Working Families Max Rose 3,894 2.0
Women's Equality Max Rose 1,079 0.6
Total Max Rose 101,823 53.0
Republican Dan Donovan 80,440 41.9
Conservative Dan Donovan 7,352 3.8
Independence Dan Donovan 1,302 0.7
Reform Dan Donovan 347 0.2
Total Dan Donovan (incumbent) 89,441 46.6
Green Henry Bardel 774 0.4
Total votes 192,038 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
New York's 11th congressional district, 2020[47][48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Max Rose 134,625 46.0%
Independence Max Rose 2,573 0.8%
Total Max Rose (incumbent) 137,198 46.8%
Republican Nicole Malliotakis 143,420 49.0%
Conservative Nicole Malliotakis 12,188 4.2%
Total Nicole Malliotakis 155,608 53.2%
Total votes 292,806 100.0

Personal life[edit]

Rose moved to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in 2015.[49] He and his wife Leigh Byrne, a fashion stylist, were married in March 2018.[6] They reside in St. George, Staten Island.[36] In 2020, the couple adopted a son.[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile, Max N. Rose," New York City Campaign Finance Board.
  2. ^ Runyeon, Frank (October 18, 2018). "Can NYC Democrats Flip Staten Island's House Seat Blue?". The Gothamist. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Matthews, Karen (October 15, 2018). "Max Rose joins wave of veterans aiming to flip the House". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Anna Sanders and Nick Fugallo (January 27, 2018). "Purple Heart vet sets sights on NYC's most conservative district". The New York Post. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Prince, Cathryn (October 29, 2017). "Back from Afghanistan, Jewish veteran faces fresh battle for Congress". Times of Israel. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Foderaro, Lisa (June 29, 2018). "With G.O.P. Primary on Staten Island Over, Enter the Democrat". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Nathan L. Gonzalez (December 15, 2017). "Candidate Conversation - Max Rose (D)". Inside Elections. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Why Is This Happening? Flipping districts from red to blue with Rep. Max Rose". NBC News. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  9. ^ Matthews, Karen (October 14, 2018). "NYC Democrat Joins Wave of Veterans Aiming to Flip the House". NBC New York. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  10. ^ "Max Rose, Democrat running for Staten Island's congressional seat, is ready to serve".
  11. ^ Pearl Minsky (November 11, 2019). "Memoirs: Congressman Max Rose". Staten Island Advance.
  12. ^ Clark, Amy Sara (November 14, 2018). "There Is A Rose In Staten Island".
  13. ^ Paula Katinas (November 2, 2018). "Know Your Candidates: Max Rose". Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
  14. ^ Mason Mandell. "Max Rose '08 Aims to Unseat GOP Incumbent in NY-11". The Wesleyan Argus.
  15. ^ "Rose, Max, (1986 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. US Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  16. ^ a b WRAL (June 29, 2018). "With GOP Primary on Staten Island Over, Enter the Democrat". Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  17. ^ a b c "40 Under 40 - Max Rose". Crain's New York Business. March 24, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  18. ^ Jacob Siegal (October 13, 2020). "Max Rose Comes Late to the Party". Tablet Magazine.
  19. ^ Sanders, Anna (August 4, 2018). "Max Rose on leave from campaign trail to train with National Guard". The New York Post. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Dalton, Kristin (March 31, 2020). "Rep. Rose will serve as a member of the National Guard 'to fight this enemy'". SI Advance. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Edmondson, Catie (March 31, 2020). "Congressman Max Rose Deploys With National Guard for Coronavirus Relief". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Kruse, Michael (April 17, 2020). "If We Beat Covid and He Wins Reelection, So Be It". POLITICO.
  23. ^ "Issue". Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ Rose, Max (February 16, 2018). "Max Rose's Five-Point Plan For Reducing Gun Violence". Kings County Politics. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  26. ^ Isl, Pearl Minsky | For the Staten; Advance (November 11, 2019). "Memoirs: Congressman Max Rose". silive. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  27. ^ "The 2018 New York City 40 Under 40". City & State NY. October 18, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  28. ^ "New York Election Results: 11th House District". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  29. ^ "A Day of Congressional Exhilaration: Jerry Nadler and Max Rose Visit Beacon". The Beacon Beat. June 3, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  30. ^ Hughes, Jazmine (November 12, 2020). "Rep. Max Rose Is Defeated as Republicans Take Back N.Y.C. Seat". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Election results from CNN
  32. ^ Ben Adler (November 5, 2020). "Rep. Max Rose's unusual election night speech". City & State New York.
  33. ^ "Rep. Max Rose". GovTrack. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  34. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". United States Congressman Max Rose Representing New York's 11th District. United States Congress. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  35. ^ a b c Savitch-Lew, Abigail (October 17, 2018). "A Detailed Breakdown of the Rose-Donovan Debate for SI House Seat". CityLimits. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Max Rose for Congress". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  37. ^ Images, AFP/Getty. "Max Rose on his run for mayor and what it means to be a 'New York Jew'". The Forward. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  38. ^ Michael Colborn (November 1, 2019). "U.S. Congress Accidentally Boosted Ukraine's Far-Right". The Foreign Policy.
  39. ^ "House passes bill mandating universal gun background checks; Rep. Rose a co-sponsor". silive. February 28, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  40. ^ McAuliff, Michael (March 5, 2019). "Ocasio-Cortez says that U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 was a 'mistake'". The New York Daily News. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  41. ^ Gross, Courtney (October 2, 2019). "Rep. Max Rose Announces Support for Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump". Spectrum News NY1. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  42. ^ Anuta, Joe (December 10, 2020). "Max Rose opens mayoral campaign account". Politico. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  43. ^ Images, AFP/Getty. "Max Rose on his run for mayor and what it means to be a 'New York Jew'". The Forward. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  44. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (January 3, 2021). "Former Rep. Max Rose Says He Will Not Run for New York City Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ "BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK 2020 ELECTION NIGHT RESULTS Representative in Congress, 11th Congressional District". Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  48. ^ "New York State Board of Elections, 2020 General Election Night Results". New York State Board of Elections. November 9, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  49. ^ a_tu (October 30, 2018). "Max Rose's 'Staten Island first' strategy". City & State NY. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  50. ^ Max Rose (May 2, 2020). "Leigh and I are so incredibly excited to introduce you to our son, Miles Benjamin Rose. Adoption is often a long and incredibly uncertain journey, and ours was no different, but boy was he worth the wait," Twitter.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Donovan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Nicole Malliotakis