Congressman Paul D. Tonko

Congressman Paul D. TonkoCongressman Paul D. Tonko is serving his second term in Congress representing the 21st District of New York, which includes the state's capital city of Albany.  Congressman Tonko comes to Washington, D.C. with over two decades of administrative, legislative and policy experience having served in the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 2007, and as president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) from 2007 to 2008.

Congressman Tonko is a nationally recognized expert on energy issues.  An engineer by training, he served as chairman of the New York State Assembly’s Standing Committee on Energy prior to leaving the Assembly to join NYSERDA.  As chairman, he fought to protect consumers, fought against utility deregulation and worked to upgrade New York’s aging energy infrastructure.  While at NYSERDA, he worked to advance an aggressive green agenda for businesses and residents throughout New York State.

Congressman Tonko is a member of the Congressional Budget Committee - where he works to promote investments that create jobs and grow the economy, to protect investments in the middle class and to help bring down the deficit.  Congressman Tonko is also a member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which merges his energy expertise with his environmental agenda.  Serving on subcommittees for Energy and Environment as well as Research and Science Education, he hopes to spur an environment where innovation and cutting-edge research and design stimulate economic development in the 21st Congressional District.

An advocate for a “green economy” and “green-collar jobs,” Congressman Tonko has promoted wind development in upstate New York and successfully lobbied General Electric to locate their growing wind operations and their Advanced Battery manufacturing facility in Schenectady, New York.

At the age of 26, Congressman Tonko was the youngest person in the history of Montgomery County to be elected to the county’s board of supervisors.  He served as chairman of that body until 1981.  Prior to his election to the Assembly in 1983, he was an engineer in the New York State Department of Transportation and also served on the staff of the Department of Public Service.  He has been a longtime member of the Public Employees Federation (PEF) and proudly serves as the first PEF member elected to Congress.

Congresman Tonko graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.  He is a lifelong resident of the city of Amsterdam, New York.

Read the 2011 Burton Lecture by Congressman Paul D. Tonko