Bill Pascrell, Jr., a native of Paterson, N.J., has built a life of public service upon the principles he learned while growing up on the south side of the Silk City. He credits his parents and his Italian-immigrant grandparents with instilling in him the value of being a “bridge builder,” one who seeks to bring together the diverse peoples and neighborhoods in the community he serves. Pascrell’s tenacity and dedication as a U.S. congressman are marked by service to his constituents and his rise in leadership on critical issues.

Pascrell was first elected congressman for New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District in 1996. After congressional reapportionment, the district was reconfigured and renumbered to be the 9th Congressional District beginning with the 113th Congress in 2013. Pascrell is now serving his ninth term. Since 2007, he has served on the exclusive House Ways and Means Committee, the first committee established in the U.S. Congress, overseeing numerous economic issues including Social Security, taxes, Medicare, international trade and health policy. In 2011, he was appointed by his colleagues to the additional assignment of serving on the pivotal House Budget Committee, the congressional body responsible for the national budget process. In his roles on both committees, Pascrell has been a champion for the middle class by supporting policies that help facilitate job creation, distribute the tax burden equitably and make quality health care affordable.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y., Pascrell worked as both a high-school history teacher and an adjunct professor at FDU. He also served as president of the Paterson Board of Education and as a member of Passaic County Community College’s board of trustees. Pascrell served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserve.

Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Honorary Degree:
Doctor of Humane Letters