A three-term congressman from Silicon Valley who wants to help bring technology jobs to Middle America will deliver Monmouth College’s 2022 Midwest Matters Lecture.
Rep. Ro Khanna of California will give a talk on “Bringing Tech Jobs to the Heartland.” Free and open to the public, the talk will be at noon Friday, April 8, in the College’s Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.
“It’s an honor to have Rep. Khanna visit campus to share his vision on spreading tech jobs across the heartland, as well as sharing greater economic opportunity across the nation,” said Monmouth political science faculty member Robin Johnson, who helped organize the talk. “Rep. Khanna’s message should be especially valuable to our students and also to community leaders across the eastern Iowa and western Illinois region.”
A Democrat, Khanna was first elected to Congress in 2016 to represent California’s 17th Congressional District, which includes the heart of Silicon Valley. Known for his work on economic and labor issues, Khanna is a leading voice in Congress on tech issues and policy.
He is the author of the new book Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us, a road map to bridging the digital divide and rebuilding the middle class while providing dignity to every individual in a digital age. He authored a previous book, “Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future.”
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, into an immigrant Indian family, Khanna graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of Chicago, followed by a law degree from Yale University. He was a lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stanford University and an Adjunct Professor at Santa Clara Law School.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Khanna deputy assistant secretary of commerce, where he led international trade missions and worked to increase U.S. exports. He was later appointed to the White House Business Council, working with business and labor on policies to bring back manufacturing jobs.
After a second stint working in private law, Khanna unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2014, before unseating an eight-term Democratic congressman in 2016. Khanna sits on the House committees on agriculture, armed services, and oversight and reform, where he chairs the Environmental Subcommittee.
Khanna’s talk is part of the Midwest Matters Lecture program, established by Monmouth College in 2009 to contribute an academic voice to the conversation about the revitalization of the Midwest within an increasingly globalized world.