|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Jersey's 7th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Leonard Lance|
|Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor|
April 3, 2014 – January 20, 2017
|Deputy||Virginia L. Bennett|
|Preceded by||Michael Posner|
|Succeeded by||Robert Destro|
|Born||September 23, 1965|
Słupsk, Polish People's Republic (now Poland)
|Education||University of California, Berkeley (BA)|
St Antony's College, Oxford (MPhil)
Tomasz P. Malinowski (//; born September 23, 1965) 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. He was reelected in 2020 by a narrower margin against New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr.
Malinowski serves on the Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Homeland Security committees.
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. 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.
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. 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. From 1998 to 2001, Malinowski served as senior director on the National Security Council at the White House.
From 2001 to 2013, Malinowski was the Washington director for Human Rights Watch. 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. He campaigned for democratic reforms in Myanmar and financial sanctions on its leadership. Malinowski argued for the recognition of women's rights as a precondition to any peace talks with the Taliban. He also pushed for a no-fly zone in Syria during the ongoing civil war. 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.[unreliable source?][unreliable source?]
Some saw Malinowski 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. He testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 24, 2013, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 2, 2014. 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.
In 2016, Malinowski said the State Department planned to release a list of North Korean human rights abusers. He backed the United Nations' efforts to investigate possible war crimes committed during the Sri Lankan Civil War. He assisted with sanctioning Russian officials under the Magnitsky Act for human rights abuses.
In July 2014, Bahrain's government expelled Malinowski after he met with members of a Bahraini opposition group during a scheduled visit. 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. 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. Malinowski returned to Bahrain in December 2014 with the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
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. 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."
On October 2, 2017, Malinowski announced his candidacy for New Jersey's 7th congressional district in the 2018 midterm elections. 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." Malinowski cited health care, immigration, diplomacy, environmental policy, and infrastructure as areas of focus.
Malinowski supports the Affordable Care Act and criticized the Republican Party's attempts to dismantle it. He supports a public health insurance option, but opposes Medicare for all. He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as stronger collective bargaining rights and protections for workers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When he took office in January 2019, Malinowski became the first Democrat to represent the 7th and its predecessors since 1961.
Malinowski was the first member of the New Jersey House delegation to call to begin the impeachment inquiry against Trump in May 2019. He endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in January 2020.
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. 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."
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." 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.
As of September 2021, Malinowski had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 97.2% of the time.
|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%|
Malinowski bought a home in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, close to where he grew up, in September 2017. In 2020, he moved to the Ringoes section of East Amwell Township, New Jersey.
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).
Malinowski has a daughter, Emily.