Rep. Jared Huffman, 2020 Humanist of the Year
The only open humanist and agnostic currently in Congress, Representative Jared Huffman (CA-2) founded the Congressional Freethought Caucus to promote sound public policy based on reason, science and moral values, while protecting the secular character of government and championing the value of freedom of thought worldwide.
Rep. Huffman was first elected to Congress to represent the northern California district in November 2012 and currently serves on the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In the 116th Congress, he chairs the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, with jurisdiction over federal water projects, fisheries management, coastal zone and oceans policy, and wildlife and endangered species.
During his four terms in Congress, Rep. Huffman has built a reputation as a progressive leader and an environmental expert who focuses on making a difference. As a founder and current co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, Rep. Huffman has forged a coalition of twelve Members of Congress in defending the rights of humanists, freethinkers, and nontheists. And under Rep. Huffman’s leadership, the Caucus has been an important voice for a wide-range of issues, including: opposing the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, speaking out against the creation of the Religious Liberty Task Force, supporting legislation such as the No BAN Act, and opposing Trump’s guidance on school-sponsored prayer.
Rep. Huffman is also committed to ensuring our communities are resilient to the effects of climate change, including wildfires and droughts. He has been instrumental in defending America’s coastlines from offshore oil and gas drilling, introducing legislation to protect the Pacific and Arctic Oceans as part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to protect oceanic ecosystems and coastal economies, while reducing our unhealthy dependency on fossil fuels.
Before serving in Congress, Rep. Huffman served the North Bay for six years in the California Assembly. Prior to his legislative service, he worked as a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and was a successful public interest attorney whose victories included several major jury verdicts in gender discrimination and race discrimination trials. He also served 12 years in local government.
Rep. Huffman graduated magna cum laude from U.C. Santa Barbara, where he was a three-time NCAA All-American volleyball player. He went on to play for the USA Volleyball Team in 1987 when the team was ranked #1 in the world, before attending and graduating cum laude from Boston College Law School. Rep. Huffman lives in San Rafael with his wife Susan, a teacher. They have two children, Abby and Nathan. In his free time, the Congressman enjoys fishing, hiking and playing tennis.