At a Glance
- Career History: Alaska House of Representatives (1998-2002); Practicing Attorney (1989-1998);Anchorage District Court Clerk Attorney (1987-1989)
- Birthday: May 22, 1957
- Hometown: Ketchikan, Alaska
- Alma Mater: Georgetown University, B.A. 1980; Willamette University, J.D. 1985
- Spouse: Verne Martell
- Religion: Catholic
- Committees: Energy & Natural Resources (ranking member); Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ; Indian Affairs ; Appropriations
- DC Office: 709 Hart Senate Building, Washington, DC 20510, 202-224-6665
Path to Power
Lisa Murkowski was born in Ketchikan, Alaska on May 22, 1957. She is a third generation Alaskan and the first Alaskan-born U.S. senator. The second of six children, she grew up across the state, in Wrangell, Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage. Her father, Frank, was a banker during her childhood but was elected senator the year Lisa graduated from college.
Murkowski attended Georgetown University, where she earned her degree in economics in 1980 (after transferring from Willamette University in Salem, Ore.). She came back to Alaska to serve as a legislative aide. In 1985, Murkowski earned her law degree from Willamette University and joined the Alaska Bar Association in 1987.
Murkowski is known as a moderate, (she has been called a "squishy Republican" by conservative, anti-abortion rights group Focus on the Family ) with some political opponents charging that she's not as conservative as a Republican should be, or at least as conservative as her father. She voted with the majority of Republicans 80.5 percent of the time in the 110th Congress.
Murkowksi has managed to remain clear of the scandal that plagued many other Alaska Republican politicians, including her father. But it has touched her family, which is a legend in Alaska politics and without whom she likely be nowhere politically.
It's hard to overstate Murkowski's ties to her father Frank Murkowski, who appointed her to the Senate seat he departed after 22 years to become Alaska's governor in 2002.
Murkowski got her political start an intern former Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-Alaska) office during her senior year of high school. In 2002, Murkowski and Stevens began working side-by-side in the Senate.