Joel Rubin is a fighter for the progressive values of our community with a track record of success. He lives in Chevy Chase with his wife, Nilmini, three daughters, Renuka, 9, Araliya, 7, Bhavana, 5 and his mother-in-law, Mithra – where he actively serves on town committees and participates in the life of the town.
Now Joel is running to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in Congress, leveraging his successes as both an advocate and leader at the federal level.
Joel has worked in public service for nearly 20 years, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Environmental Education in a rural Costa Rican village after graduating from Brandeis University. Because of that experience, Joel knew he would commit his life to public service and the battle for social, environmental, and economic justice.
He returned home to complete graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, obtaining a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management with minors in Business Administration and Sustainable Development.
After graduation, Joel went to work as a Presidential Management Fellow and civil servant at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Energy, and then the Department of State.
While at USAID and the Energy Department, Joel managed a national solar energy program and worked on programs to address climate change. And while at the State Department, Joel helped to promote economic development in the Middle East and to strengthen our security. But there was a major problem – the energy and national security policies of the George W. Bush Administration.
So Joel took the battle from the State Department to Capitol Hill to change those policies as an aide to two senior Democratic Senators. During that time, he helped get legislation passed that strengthened military health care, supported victims of terrorism, and enhanced oversight of our country’s spending in Afghanistan. For these efforts, he won the “Congressional Staffer of the Year” award from the Military Officers Association of America.
In 2008, Joel was appointed founding Political and Government Affairs Director of J Street – a new organization dedicated to promoting progressive solutions for America’s national security. J Street has worked vigorously to block an Iranian nuclear weapon through the use of diplomacy, not war, and to strengthen Israeli security through a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
In 2011, Joel joined Ploughshares Fund – an organization dedicated to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons – to accelerate this shift towards diplomacy in American foreign policy. Specifically, he helped lead the advocacy campaign to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon via active diplomacy. Joel became a leading public figure on how to achieve this, helping to move the public debate in favor of diplomacy, not war.
Recognized for work and his ability to get things done in tough political terrain, Secretary of State John F. Kerry appointed Joel to return to the State Department in 2014. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, Joel was in charge of this leading federal agency’s relationship with the House of Representatives.
Joel was responsible for engaging the Leadership and Members of both sides of the aisle, demonstrating a capacity to work effectively. In addition, a core part of his job was to build support in the House for a nuclear agreement with Iran and five other world powers. In mid-September, that campaign was successful.
An active member of the Temple Sinai Synagogue in northwest Washington, D.C., Joel’s two eldest daughters attend Hebrew School there and the third is on her way. He also spent seven summers at Camp Ramah in Canada as both a camper and counselor. At synagogue, he spoke in September 2013 from the Bimah during Yom Kippur about Syria and the chemical weapons
agreement that the U.S. concluded with Russia to eradicate Assad’s chemical weapons. This agreement eliminated an existential threat to Israel and was a triumph for American diplomacy. Joel is proud to be a member of this progressive house of worship.
Joel is a proven fighter for progressive values, and will take this energy and commitment to Washington on behalf of the people of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.