Ellen O’Kane Tauscher is an experienced executive, strategic advisor and seasoned leader who returned to the private sector in February 2012, after more than 16 years of public service in Congress and the State Department. Tauscher currently serves as an independent director of both public and private companies, not for profit and non-governmental organizations.
In 2009, she was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United State Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. As Under Secretary of State, Tauscher was responsible for successfully closing negotiations of the New Start Treaty with the Russian Federation in March 2010 in Geneva, after months of stalemate. Secretary Tauscher also represented the United States at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in May 2010, which produced the first consensus agreement in 10 years.
As Under Secretary, Tauscher managed an executive office of nearly 20 senior advisors and staff and three State Department bureaus of more than 600 foreign service officers and civil servants. She managed the State Department's interactions with the Pentagon and served on the Deputies Committee in the National Security Council as Secretary Clinton’s designee.
Tauscher is a former seven-term Democratic Member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 10th Congressional district, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was elected on her first run for any elected office in 1996 and served until her resignation to join the Obama Administration.
In Congress, Tauscher was a leading centrist Democrat, and the Chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 65 moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives. She also served as Vice-Chairwoman of the Democratic Leadership Council from 2001 to 2005.
Representing the only Congressional District home to two National Nuclear Labs, Tauscher served on the House Armed Services Committee for more than 12 years and became the Chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee, with responsibility for nuclear weapons management and policy, satellite and missile defense policy and procurement and CBRN detection and management with a portfolio of $55 billion in annual budget authority.
She is a member of the board of directors of three public companies: Invacare Corporation (IVC, NYSE); EHealth, Inc. (EHTH); Edison International and Southern California Edison (EIX, NYSE). She also serves as Chairman of The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation and as a member of the board of directors of Aurora Flight Sciences and The Atlantic Council.
In 2013, Tauscher was recruited by Wal-Mart, The Gap, Target and VF Brands to serve as the first Independent Board Chairman of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a new 501 (C) 6 corporation and coalition of the 26 largest North American retailers and clothing brands.
Prior to her work in the public sector, she spent 14 years on Wall Street. At age 25, she became a one of the first women to become a Member of the New York Stock Exchange. She also served as an officer of the American Stock Exchange from 1980 to 1983, after which she worked as an investment banker for Bear Stearns and a subsidiary of Drexel Burnham Lambert.
In 1989, Tauscher and her former husband, Bill Tauscher, moved to California where she founded the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers. She also wrote The ChildCare Sourcebook, published by Macmillan in 1995 and headed the Tauscher Foundation, which provided funds for elementary schools to buy computers and Internet access.
Tauscher graduated in 1974 from Seton Hall University, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.