Erik Paulsen represents Minnesota's Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives, a district made up of the northwest, west and southwest suburbs of Minneapolis.
Prior to his election to Congress in 2008, Paulsen served in the Minnesota House from 1995 to 2008. He was the House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007.
He began his career in public service working as a legislative assistant in Washington for his predecessor, Congressman Jim Ramstad Paulsen later served as the director of Ramstad's Minnesota office He and his wife Kelly reside in Eden Prairie along with their four daughters Cassie, Briana, Tayler and Liesl.
Paulsen has 16 years of business experience, including working as a business analyst at Target Corporation He received his B.A. in mathematics from St. Olaf College.
During his tenure in the Minnesota House, Paulsen earned a reputation as a leading watchdog for taxpayers and a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility. He teamed with Governor Pawlenty to eliminate a $4.5 billion state budget deficit without raising taxes.
Paulsen's legislative agenda parallels the initiatives that make Minnesota a great place to live, work and raise a family: a strong economic climate for job growth, a fairly-funded and accountable education system, a well-preserved environment, safe communities, and tax reform for taxpayers and businesses.
For his strong commitment to these issues, Paulsen has received several important recognitions, including Legislator of the Year awards from the Association of Metropolitan School Districts and the Suburban Transit Association He was also named Outstanding Legislator by the Minnesota School Boards Association and received the Nature Conservancy's Government Relations Award for environmental leadership.
Paulsen has participated in several distinguished leadership programs and fellowships, including the inaugural two-year class of the Aspen Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, the German Marshall Memorial Fellowship, the Young Leaders Forum of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the American Council of Young Political Leaders. In addition, he has participated in a number of overseas programs, traveling to India, China, Brazil, the Middle East and Europe.
Paulsen's commitment to his community has not been limited to his service in elected office He has served as a Board Trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, as well as a board member of the Southdale YMCA, the Eden Prairie A Better Chance Foundation, and Habitat for Global Learning. He is also a member of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce Paulsen also has enjoyed coaching his daughters' soccer teams and teaching Sunday school.