Circle Ileana Ros Lehtinen |

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Senior Advisor, Akin
CHLI Chairwoman
CHLI 2003 Founding Member
  • Served for almost three decades as a member of Congress representing a congressional district in South Florida and was the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress.
  • As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she became a leader in crafting U.S. foreign policy. She served as the Committee’s Chairwoman, and Chair or Co-Chair of multiple subcommittees.
  • Key issues include advancing democracy, international trade, national security and defense, energy and environment, education and immigration.

Former U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) served for almost three decades as a member of Congress representing diverse areas in South Florida.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen was the Chairwoman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In these roles, she led on pressing foreign policy issues, including championing the advancement of freedom and democracy for all, fighting Islamist extremism; supporting free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea; and imposing sanctions on human rights violators in Venezuela.

Prior to becoming the Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen served as Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia; International Operations and Human Rights; International Economic Policy and Trade; and Africa; and as Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was a member of the CIA Subcommittee and the National Security Agency and Cybersecurity Subcommittee.

A strong proponent of education, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen holds multiple education degrees, including an Ed.D. from the University of Miami, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Florida International University. She began her career as a Florida certified teacher, and then founded, and served as the principal of, a private bilingual elementary school.