John Boozman, a successful businessman and life-long resident of Arkansas, was sworn-in as U.S. Senator on January 5, 2011.
Raised in Fort Smith, John graduated from Northside High School and went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas.
For five terms, John served the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives, establishing a reputation as an advocate for Arkansans, especially our veterans and our state's infrastructure needs.
While Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, John played a crucial role in the government's efforts to ensure veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life and authored key policy provisions that include improvements to treatments for service members afflicted with eye trauma and the reinstatement of veteran work study benefits under the GI Bill.
During his tenure in the House, John dedicated much of his work to improving Arkansas's infrastructure, which is vital to economic development in the state. He served as Ranking Member of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee which holds jurisdiction over water resources development, conservation and management, water pollution control, water infrastructure, and hazardous waste cleanup. John was also one of the founding members of the Congressional I-49 Caucus to promote completion of Interstate 49.
John's work on the international stage during his tenure in the House, helped make Arkansas a larger player in global trade. In 2007, his efforts to bring together Third District and state leaders with the international community culminated in the creation the Arkansas World Trade Center (AWTC) in Rogers, which opened in 2007. Since its opening, John and the AWTC have hosted numerous foreign dignitaries, diplomats and government leaders in an effort to open new markets for Arkansas's goods and services.
In the 112th Congress, John has been selected to sit on four committees in the Senate: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; Environment and Public Works; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Veterans' Affairs. He serves as ranking member of the Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Agriculture Committee; ranking member of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and ranking member of the Environment and Public Works' Green Jobs Subcommittee.
Prior to his election to Congress, John served two terms on the Rogers School Board, which is one of the largest school districts in the state. He established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. John successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University.
John, 60, is married to the former Cathy Marley. The couple has three daughters.