At a Glance
- Career History:
Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Advisor to Governor
Jon S. Corzine
(2006-2009); Senior Policy Adviser for Massachusetts
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (1997-2006); Temple University Director of Field Services in Human Services and Education
- Birthday: April 17, 1953
- Hometown: Philadelphia
- Alma Mater: Boston College, B.A. in Education, year; Arcadia University, Master's of Education in Reading
- Religion: Catholic
- DC Office: Francis Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210; (202) 693-2700
- Web site
Path to Power
Growing up in Philadelphia, Oates said her father pushed her and her sister to pursue the opportunities he had never been given. He began work directly after finishing high school, but encouraged his daughters to pursue higher education.
Yet, even though Oates says her father was a "forward thinker" in his working-class family, there were conditions. "I had to go to a Catholic College, and I had to be a teacher or a nurse," she told WhoRunsGov.com.
Growing up, Oates' father was a Teamsters president in Philadelphia, and she says labor has always been an important part of her life..
"The right to organize, collective bargaining, labor management partnerships, those were all concepts that I thought were basic and critical to the American way of life," she said..
Oates worked for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Oates has contributed to Democrats in the last two presidential elections, giving $650 to candidate Barack Obama and $500 to John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004. She also contributed $250 to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund in 2001.