At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. Congress (2005 through 2007); Secretary, Lousiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals (1996 to 1998); Executive Director, National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, (1998 to 1999); President, University of Louisiana System (1999 to 2001); Assistant Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (2001 to 2003)
- Birthday: June 10, 1971
- Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
- Alma Mater: Brown University, B.A. 1991; Oxford University, M.Lit., 1994
- Spouse: Supriya Jindal
- Religion: Catholic
- Office: Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 94004Baton Rouge, Louisana 70804-9004, 225-335-7015
- Web site
Path to Power
Jindal has assembled a remarkable resume in his still-young career compiled in his home state and Washington, D.C. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1993 and was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a master's in public policy from New College in Oxford. In 1996, Louisiana GOP Gov. Mike Foster appointed Jindal - then just 24 years old - to head the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).
The department was the state's largest with 12,000 employees and a $4 billion budget. There, Jindal stunningly turned a $400 million deficit into a multi-year surplus. His health-care policy prowess earned national attention and Jindal was appointed in 1998 as the executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare that was created by Congress. Upon the completion of the commission's work a year later, he returned to the Louisiana government to serve as the president of the state's university system.
Jindal's brand of conservatism is confident, knowledgeable and modern. He offers detailed policy proposals and action plans with refreshing sincerity. In just his first year in office, Gov. Jindal ushered ethics legislation, tax relief, and significant criminal, educational and health-care reforms through the Louisiana legislature.
Ethics and Government Reform
Jindal called a special session of the state legislature shortly after his gubernatorial win to address ethics reform, calling on lawmakers to adopt the "gold standard" in public ethics and disclosure law.
With a resume that includes stints as a congressman, a Bush administration assistant secretary, and as the head of Louisiana's state university and health-care systems, Jindal's network of contacts and supporters is deep, wide and national.
Louisiana Republican Governor Mike Foster gave Jindal his early break in 1996 with the appointment to run DHH. Gov. Foster said his choice was "a bit unorthodox due to his young age, but I am pleased to find such an exceptionally talented Secretary." In fact, Jindal's performance in his various roles has been so impressive that he's earned a wide variety of fans, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, a Democrat who endorsed Jindal in 2003 and Democratic Sen. John Breaux (La.), the dean of Louisiana politics who worked with Jindal on the Medicare commission.