Gretchen Whitmer is a lecturer in public policy at the Ford School. She represented residents of East Lansing, Michigan in the state house from 2000-2006 and in the state senate from 2006-2014. In 2011, Whitmer was elected the Senate Democratic Leader and became the first woman to lead a caucus in the history of the Michigan Senate. While serving in the senate, she was seated on the Government Operations committee (ranking Democrat), Legislative Council, and the Senate Fiscal Agency Board of Governors. In 2011 and 2013 respectively, Whitmer gained national attention for her legislative and media advocacy on state anti-bullying proposals and women's reproductive choice. Prior to serving in public office, she worked as an attorney in private practice with the firm Dickinson Wright in Lansing. There, she specialized in regulatory and administrative litigation, arguing cases in Circuit Court and before the Michigan Public Service Commission. Whitmer earned a bachelor's degree in communications and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor, both from Michigan State University.