Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States

Senator Ted Kaufman Biography

Ted Kaufman
United State Senator for Delaware

Ted Kaufman was sworn in as Delaware’s Junior Senator on January 16, 2009, replacing Vice President Joe Biden. As the only serving U.S. Senator who worked as an engineer, Ted has advocated for a renewed emphasis on science, engineering, and innovation to meet the increasing challenges of a competitive global economy. In June, he introduced the STEM Education Coordination Act (S. 1210) -- bipartisan legislation that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education efforts by establishing a committee under the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate federal STEM education programs and activities.


Ted also recently led a bipartisan effort in support of funding to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM fields. As a result, the Senate's FY 2010 Appropriations Bill, passed in August, includes $500,000 to fund research and extension grants for these groups.

Earlier this year, Ted advocated for the inclusion of increased service opportunities for retired engineers and other STEM professionals in the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. A number of provisions were added to the original Senate bill, which created additional service opportunities to help inspire a new generation of students to pursue STEM education, including students from disadvantaged communities.

Additionally, during his weekly speeches honoring the nation's federal employees, Ted has paid tribute to several career engineers. He has also delivered keynote speeches at engineering events sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the SAE International.

Prior to serving as a U.S. Senator, Ted was a board member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to which he was appointed by Presidents Clinton and Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for four terms.

Since 1991, Ted has taught courses in the law school, business school, and public policy program of his alma mater, Duke University. From 1995 to 1999 he was Co-Chair of the Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Congress.

In 1972, Ted joined Joe Biden long-shot U.S. Senate campaign on a volunteer basis. After Biden's surprise victory in 1973, he took a one-year leave of absence from the DuPont Company to organize Senator Biden's Delaware office, which lasted until 1995. Nineteen of those years were spent as Chief of Staff.

Ted has remained a close friend of Vice President Joe Biden and has advised him on every one of his 10 federal campaigns. After last year's election, Ted was named co-chair of the Vice Presidential Transition Team.

Ted originally moved to Delaware in 1966 to work for the DuPont Company. He graduated from Duke University with a degree in mechanical engineering, and then earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Lynne, live in Wilmington and have three daughters and seven grandchildren.