Tom Malinowski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byLeonard Lance
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
In office
April 3, 2014 – January 20, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyVirginia L. Bennett
Preceded byMichael Posner
Succeeded byRobert Destro
Personal details
Born (1965-09-23) September 23, 1965 (age 56)
Słupsk, Polish People's Republic (now Poland)
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA)
St Antony's College, Oxford (MPhil)
WebsiteHouse website

Tomasz P. Malinowski (/ˌmælɪˈnsk/; born September 23, 1965)[1] is an American politician and diplomat who is the U.S. representative for New Jersey's 7th congressional district. A Democrat, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the Obama administration.

A vocal opponent of Donald Trump, Malinowski was first elected in 2018, defeating Republican incumbent Leonard Lance by five points.[2][3] He was reelected in 2020 by a narrower margin against New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr.[4]

Malinowski serves on the Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Homeland Security committees.

Early life and education

Malinowski was born in Słupsk, Poland, and lived in Brwinów until leaving the country at the age of six with his mother, Joanna, who married Blair Clark. He was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, and graduated from Princeton High School in 1983, where he wrote for the school newspaper The Tower and was an intern in Senator Bill Bradley's office.[1] Malinowski received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987 and a Master of Philosophy from St Antony's College, Oxford, in 1991, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.[1][5]


Government service

Malinowski worked as a special assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1988. He worked for the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria, and later as a research assistant for the Ford Foundation in 1993.[5] From 1994 to 1998, Malinowski was a speechwriter for Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright as well as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State.[6] From 1998 to 2001, Malinowski served as senior director on the National Security Council at the White House.[5][6]

Human Rights Watch

From 2001 to 2013, Malinowski was the Washington director for Human Rights Watch.[5][6][7] In this position, he advocated for the end of torture techniques and black sites used by the U.S. government during the War on Terror.[8][9][10] He campaigned for democratic reforms in Myanmar and financial sanctions on its leadership.[11][12] Malinowski argued for the recognition of women's rights as a precondition to any peace talks with the Taliban.[13] He also pushed for a no-fly zone in Syria during the ongoing civil war.[14] Malinowski opposed supplying Israel with cluster munitions because of their misuse in Lebanon and asked then-Senator Hillary Clinton to not support Israel's construction of a wall in the occupied West Bank.[15][unreliable source?][16][unreliable source?]

Assistant Secretary of State

Some saw Malinowski[17][18] as a likely nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, but his previous registration as a lobbyist while at Human Rights Watch necessitated a waiver from the President. On July 8, 2013, during Obama's second term, Malinowski was nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.[19][20] He testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 24, 2013,[21] and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 2, 2014.[22][23][24] According to columnist Jennifer Rubin, leaders from both parties praised Malinowski in 2014 for his defense of human rights and his work toward ending torture.[25]

In 2016, Malinowski said the State Department planned to release a list of North Korean human rights abusers.[26] He backed the United Nations' efforts to investigate possible war crimes committed during the Sri Lankan Civil War.[27] He assisted with sanctioning Russian officials under the Magnitsky Act for human rights abuses.[28]

In July 2014, Bahrain's government expelled Malinowski after he met with members of a Bahraini opposition group during a scheduled visit.[29][30] The foreign ministry of Bahrain asserted that his meeting was an improper intervention in the country's affairs but said the incident would not affect Bahrain–U.S. relations.[29] The U.S. State Department released a statement of concern about the actions while Secretary of State John Kerry called Bahrain's actions unacceptable and contrary to diplomatic protocol.[29][31][32] Malinowski returned to Bahrain in December 2014 with the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.[33][34]

Following the end of his tenure at the State Department, Malinowski joined fellow former Obama officials to lobby Congress to prevent the Trump administration from lifting the sanctions on Russia following its annexation of Crimea.[35] He criticized Donald Trump for having an "obscene fondness" for the world's tyrants and for instituting a "complete departure from decades of American tradition."[7]

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 7

Malinowski at his campaign headquarters in Martinsville, New Jersey
Malinowski at his campaign headquarters in Martinsville, New Jersey

On October 2, 2017, Malinowski announced his candidacy for New Jersey's 7th congressional district in the 2018 midterm elections.[36] He decided to run for Congress after the 2016 election of Donald Trump, which he saw as an indication that America was in "deep trouble."[37] Malinowski cited health care, immigration, diplomacy, environmental policy, and infrastructure as areas of focus.[38]

Malinowski supports the Affordable Care Act and criticized the Republican Party's attempts to dismantle it.[39] He supports a public health insurance option, but opposes Medicare for all.[40] He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as stronger collective bargaining rights and protections for workers.[41]

In the June 5 Democratic primary election, Malinowski defeated social worker Peter Jacob and lawyer Goutam Jois with 66.8% of the vote, winning all counties in the district.[42][43][44]

Malinowski won the November 6 general election with 51.7% of the vote. He and Lance each carried three of the district's six counties; Malinowski won Essex, Somerset and Union, while Lance carried Morris, Warren and his native Hunterdon. But Malinowski won the district's shares of Somerset and Union counties, the two most populous counties in the district, by 22,300 votes, which exceeded the overall margin of 16,200 votes.[45][46]


See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 7

Malinowski with former Summit mayor Jordan Glatt at the Memorial Day remembrance in Summit, New Jersey, in May 2021.
Malinowski with former Summit mayor Jordan Glatt at the Memorial Day remembrance in Summit, New Jersey, in May 2021.

During his reelection campaign, Malinowski faced death threats after the National Republican Congressional Committee aired false ads accusing him of lobbying to protect sexual predators when he worked for Human Rights Watch.[47]

Malinowski was reelected, defeating New Jersey Senate Republican leader Tom Kean Jr. by 1.2%. Due to the very close margin, the election remained unresolved for weeks.[48]


When he took office in January 2019, Malinowski became the first Democrat to represent the 7th and its predecessors since 1961.[citation needed]

Malinowski was the first member of the New Jersey House delegation to call to begin the impeachment inquiry against Trump in May 2019.[49] He endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in January 2020.[50]

American video game company Activision Blizzard punished a Hong Kong-based professional gamer for supporting pro-democracy Hong Kong protests. Malinowski accused Blizzard and Apple of censorship.[51] He co-signed a letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick that read, "As China amplifies its campaign of intimidation, you and your company must decide whether to look beyond the bottom line and promote American values—like freedom of speech and thought—or to give in to Beijing’s demands in order to preserve market access."[52]

In April 2021, the Associated Press reported that Malinowski had traded approximately $1 million of stock in medical and tech companies involved in the virus response during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, Malinowski had said, "This is not the time for anybody to be profiting off of selling ventilators, vaccines, drugs, treatments, PPE [personal protective equipment], anywhere in the world."[53][54] Malinowski failed to disclose the trades, as required by federal law. Two complaints were filed against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics. Malinowski said that failing to disclose the trades was an error.[55][56]

As of September 2021, Malinowski had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 97.2% of the time.[57]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

New Jersey's 7th congressional district: Results 2018–2020
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2018 Tom Malinowski 166,985 51.7% Leonard Lance (incumbent) 150,785 46.7% Diane Moxley Green 2,676 0.8% Gregg Mele Independent 2,296 0.7%
2020 219,629 50.6% Thomas Kean Jr. 214,318 49.4%

Personal life

Malinowski bought a home in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, close to where he grew up, in September 2017.[62] In 2020, he moved to the Ringoes section of East Amwell Township, New Jersey.[63]

Malinowski's stepfather Blair Clark was a journalist. Clark's sister was Anne Martindell, a member of the New Jersey State Senate (1974–1977) and a United States ambassador to New Zealand (1979–1981).[64]

Malinowski has a daughter, Emily.[65]


  1. ^ a b c "Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: Who Is Tom Malinowski?". AllGov. July 21, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "Malinowski Declares". InsiderNJ. October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results". New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  4. ^ "New Jersey Election Results: Seventh Congressional District". Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d "Tom Malinowski". U.S. Department of State. April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Malinowski, Tom". Center for Responsive Politics. April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Politico magazine, Susan B. Glasser, June 19, 2017, The Man Who Argued With Dictators: Tom Malinowski spent years trying to get President Obama to care more about human rights. Now, he’s figuring out what to do with a president who doesn’t seem to care at all., Retrieved May 24, 2018, "...Malinowski spent the past few years pushing Obama from the inside on human rights ... former Washington director of Human Rights Watch ... leading the resistance from the outside to Trump and what he calls his “obscene” fondness for the world’s tyrants...."
  8. ^ Josh, White (December 16, 2005). "President Relents, Backs Torture Ban". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ Syndeyev, Vladimir (December 7, 2005). "Rice says U.S. personnel avoid cruel practices". USA Today.
  10. ^ Malinowski, Tom (September 18, 2006). "Call Cruelty What It Is". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Malinowski, Tom (March 30, 2012). "Letting Burma Back In". Foreign Policy.
  12. ^ Malinowski, Tom (October 21, 2007). "No Longer the Generals' Burma". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ Malinowski, Tom (August 15, 2010). "How settling with the Taliban puts women at risk". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Koran, Laura (February 13, 2016). "Highlights of the latest Clinton emails". CNN.
  15. ^ "Human Rights Watch Lobbying Activity". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  16. ^ Malinowski, Tom. "Human Rights watch Lobbying Activity". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Nonprofit Groups Seeking Exceptions to Lobby Rule". Washington Post. April 20, 2009.
  18. ^ "The Good Lobbyist". Washington Post. April 22, 2006.
  19. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". July 8, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2016 – via National Archives.
  20. ^ Heil, Emily (July 9, 2013). "White House hires lobbyist Malinowski". Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  21. ^ "Statement for the Record by Tom Malinowski, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State" (PDF). United States Senate. September 24, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  22. ^ "Senate confirms State Dept. nominee". Washington Blade. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  23. ^ "Senate Confirms Tom Malinowski as New Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor". Human Rights First. April 2, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Malinowski confirmed at DRL". Democracy Digest. April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  25. ^ Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, February 21, 2014, Free Tom Malinowski, Retrieved May 23, 2018, "...Tom is widely respected for the indispensable role he has played in defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms, from ending torture to advancing democracy ... He received wide support from Democrats and Republicans who have been united in their criticism of the administration’s ... attitude toward human rights....
  26. ^ "U.S. compiling list of North Korea human rights violators". UPI. April 27, 2016.
  27. ^ "U.S. to Support Sri Lanka Plan to Investigate War Crimes". New York Times]]. August 26, 2015.
  28. ^ Carol Morello (January 9, 2017). "Five Russians blacklisted for alleged human rights abuses". Washington Post.
  29. ^ a b c "US diplomat Tom Malinowski expelled from Bahrain". BBC News. July 7, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  30. ^ "Bahrain: U.S. diplomat 'unwelcome and should immediately leave'". CNN. July 8, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  31. ^ Schwartz, Felicia (July 14, 2014). "Tension Between Bahrain and U.S. Continues Over Diplomat's Expulsion". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  32. ^ "Statement on the Decision by the Government of Bahrain To Find Assistant Secretary Malinowski Persona Non Grata and To Expel Him From Bahrain" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. July 7, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  33. ^ Gordon, Michael (December 3, 2014). "Expelled U.S. Official to Return to Bahrain". New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  34. ^ "Press Availability with A/S Tom Malinowski and A/S Anne Patterson". U.S. Department of State. December 4, 2014. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  35. ^ "Former Diplomats: Trump Team Sought to Lift Sanctions on Russia". NBC News. June 1, 2017.
  36. ^ Kamisar, Ben (October 2, 2017). "Obama State Department official to run for House in NJ". The Hill. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  37. ^ Albert R. Hunt, May 2, 2018, Bloomberg News, Some Democratic Candidates Look Mighty Familiar, Retrieved May 15, 2018, "... Malinowski, an assistant secretary of State for President Obama and a State Department official under Clinton ... America, he believes, "is in deep trouble."..."
  38. ^ May 27, 2018, NBC News Washington (Channel 4), Fired Up by Trump, Dozens of Former Obama Staffers Run for Office: The surge of Democratic candidates with ties to Obama has the potential to fill state and federal legislatures with like-minded allies, Retrieved May 30, 2018, " was the effort to take down the Affordable Care Act with no viable replacement..."
  39. ^ Insider New Jersey, May 12, 2018, Staff writer, CD7 Democratic Challenger Malinowski Formally Opens his Main Headquarters with Pallone, Retrieved May 14, 2018, "... He’ll fight to protect the Affordable Care Act....."
  40. ^ Friedman, Matt. "Tom Kean Jr. targets socialism in congressional campaign kickoff". Politico PRO. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  41. ^ David Wildstein, April 23, 2018, New Jersey Globe, CWA Endorses Malinowski, Retrieved May 15, 2018
  42. ^ "New Jersey's 7th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  43. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results: Seventh House District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  44. ^ "Candidates for House of Representatives For PRIMARY ELECTION 06/05/2018 Election" (PDF). July 20, 2018.
  45. ^ "New Jersey's Seventh House District Election Results: Tom Malinowski vs. Leonard Lance". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  46. ^ "Official List: Candidates for House of Representatives: For GENERAL ELECTION 11/06/2018" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. December 3, 2018.
  47. ^ Edmondson, Catie. "False G.O.P. Ad Prompts QAnon Death Threats Against a Democratic Congressman". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  48. ^ "Will New Jersey see a Kean vs. Malinowski rematch, and other redistricting issues". New Jersey Globe. November 18, 2020.
  49. ^ Moran, Tom (May 29, 2019). "Malinowski, the first Jersey House member to favor impeachment hearings, explains why". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  50. ^ Wildstein, David (January 14, 2020). "Malinowski Endorses Biden for President". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  51. ^ "AOC and Ted Cruz call out Apple for dropping Hong Kong app in joint letter". The Verge. October 18, 2019.
  52. ^ "Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protester". The Hill. October 18, 2020.
  53. ^ "As pandemic spread pain and panic, congressman chased profit". AP NEWS. 2021-05-21. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  54. ^ Castronuovo, Celine (2021-05-21). "Rep. Malinowski traded as much as $1M in medical, tech stocks with stake in COVID-19 response". TheHill. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  55. ^ Sutton, Sam (May 21, 2021). "After bruising 2020 campaign, Malinowski's trading activity could spell doom in 2022". Politico. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  56. ^ Salant, Jonathan (2021-05-22). "N.J. congressman's pandemic stock trades could cost him in 2022". Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  57. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (2021-04-22). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  58. ^ "Leadership | New Democrat Coalition". Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  59. ^ "Representative Malinowski Leads Fight To End Corruption in Washington". Tom Malinowski Congressional Web Site. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  60. ^ "10 Years After Disastrous Citizens United Decision, Rose, Porter, Freshmen Dems Launch New 'End Corruption' Caucus". Max Rose Congressional Web Site. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  61. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  62. ^ Pathe, Simone (March 6, 2018). "Could Past DC Residency Be Liability for Some Democrats?". Roll Call. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  63. ^ "Kean pushing local Republicans to hit Malinowski over federal aid". New Jersey Globe. 2020-05-04. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  64. ^ Wildstein, David (March 6, 2018). "Malinowski and the residency thing". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  65. ^ Muscavage, Nick (November 7, 2018). "NJ elections: Democrat Tom Malinowski unseats Republican Leonard Lance in NJ's 7th Congressional District". Courier News and Home News Tribune. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
Government offices Preceded byMichael Posner Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 2014–2017 Succeeded byVirginia L. BennettActing U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byLeonard Lance Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom New Jersey's 7th congressional district 2019–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byElaine Luria United States representatives by seniority 331st Succeeded byLucy McBath