Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-06)
Dr. Hiral Tipirneni has dedicated her life to serving her community, solving problems, and improving lives. She’s served the Phoenix area for more than 20 years as an emergency room physician, cancer research advocate and, most recently, on the board of directors of the Maricopa Health Foundation, which supports the county’s public health care delivery system.
Hiral came to America from India with her family at the age of three. Her parents were seeking the American dream because they knew the United States was a place where, if you worked hard and lived by the rules of democracy, you could be successful no matter where you came from.
Her family struggled at first, but Hiral’s father eventually secured a job in his field of structural engineering in Ohio, where she and her brother were raised in a working-class suburb of Cleveland. Hiral’s mother, a social worker, was the director of a downtown Cleveland senior center and initiated its Meals on Wheels program. Hiral often accompanied her mother, and it was then she began to feel the tremendous impact small acts of service can have on another person.
Following a childhood illness, Hiral was inspired to learn more about medicine and, after graduating from public school, she eventually earned her medical degree through an accelerated, competitive program at Northeast Ohio Medical University. A passionate problem-solver who thrives on working with a team, Hiral chose to pursue emergency medicine because of the wide variety of challenges it presented, and it allowed her to be the first point of contact for patients.
Hiral met her husband, Dr. Kishore Tipirneni, during her first year of medical school. After she served as Chief Resident of the University of Michigan’s Emergency Medicine program, Hiral and Kishore looked for a place they could settle down, practice medicine, and begin raising a family. They sought somewhere that reflected the Midwestern values they both learned growing up. They chose Phoenix.
Kishore joined a well-established orthopedic surgery practice and Hiral began working in the emergency department at Banner Good Samaritan downtown. She went on to serve in emergency departments at the Maricopa County Medical Center, Banner Thunderbird, and Abrazo Arrowhead hospitals – all while raising their three children in the Arrowhead community.
After losing her mother and nephew to cancer, Hiral directed her passion and problem-solving skills to evaluating and directing funding for cutting-edge cancer research. She now leads teams of researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates in the fight to treat and cure breast cancer, prostate cancer, and childhood leukemia.
Always invested in strengthening her community and improving its quality of life, Hiral initiated and was the lead organizer for a TEDx event about effecting positive change in the Northwest Valley. She also serves on a number of nonprofit boards of directors. Now, Hiral is running for Congress to take on Washington insiders and continue using her problem-solving, team-oriented approach to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to get the results we need.
Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23)
Gina Ortiz Jones learned at an early age that it takes both hard work and opportunity, and often sacrifice, to create a better future. A lesson she learned from her mother, who despite having graduated from a prestigious university, had left home and come to the United States as a domestic helper – because she believed the sacrifice would afford her family a better life and a shot at the American dream. Her mother’s example and sacrifices instilled in Gina the importance of humility, hard work, and willingness to step-up and take risks in order to create and seize opportunities for herself and others when needed.
Their road has not always been an easy one. Gina’s mother worked multiple jobs and long hours while raising Gina and her sister on her own. Gina knows first-hand what it is like to live in subsidized housing, as well as what it is like to rely on reduced lunch as a child. Gina watched as her mother faced a diagnosis of colon cancer and understands the value healthcare coverage played in her survival.
Even so, education was always a priority in their home, Gina learned that education and service offered a pathway to opportunities. Supported by her family and educators who both challenged and believed in her, Gina graduated in the top ten of her class from San Antonio’s John Jay High School, earning a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend Boston University. Believing it is important to give back and wanting to help other students like her, Gina established the “Leadership through Service” scholarship at her alma mater in 2013 – an annual award that recognizes students who are succeeding in the classroom and also serving their communities.
Knowing that many of the opportunities she and her family had were only possible because they were in the United States, from the time she was a young girl Gina knew she wanted to serve and give back. After graduating from Boston University with a BA and MA in Economics, and a BA in East Asian Studies, Gina entered the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
In the 12-years following her active duty service, Gina has continued to build her career in national security, intelligence, and defense – including advising on operations in Latin America and Africa, to include advising on military operations that supported South Sudan’s independence referendum and serving in the Libya Crisis Intelligence Cell. During her last 16 months as a civil servant, Gina worked at the intersection of economic and national security issues. Detailed from the Intelligence Community, she served as the Senior Advisor for Trade Enforcement, a position President Obama created by Executive Order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a Director for Investment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks.
For her years of service and extensive experience, Gina was recognized as a 2016 American Council on Germany Young Leader and is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. She is also a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council and earned a graduate degree from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.
Throughout her career, Gina has seen first-hand the dangers associated with the hollowing out of government institutions and attacks on the free press, the effects of policies deliberately aimed at weakening the voice of women and other marginalized groups, and the threats posed by leaders who see their position as an opportunity to turn a profit versus develop a nation. Now as she has seen those who are supposed to be leading this country creating those same threats here at home, while families like hers are seeing opportunities disappear, Gina once again feels called to serve her country and community where they need her most.
Gina is running for Congress to bring her unmatched experience, unique perspective, and the core values instilled in her while growing up in San Antonio to work for us in Washington. Gina will fight every day to ensure all Americans are given the opportunities and promise of a better future that our country gave to her and her family. The new frontline is the House of Representatives and Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.
Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22)
Sri was raised in a middle-class family by an immigrant father and a mother whose roots date back to the Texas Revolution. Growing up in Houston, Sri personally experienced the same challenges that our communities are facing today: flooding, gun violence, a broken criminal justice system, and unequal access to education, which forced him to take a bus across town every day to attend a better public school.
For Sri, the most personal issue is the importance of affordable, quality healthcare. When Sri was 18, his father was diagnosed with leukemia, and Sri dropped out of the University of Texas to come home to care for him. After Sri’s father passed away, medical bills left their family on the verge of bankruptcy, and Sri helped raise his three younger siblings. Working several jobs, he graduated with honors from UT.
Sri later received a Pearson Fellowship to serve as a defense, foreign policy, and veterans’ affairs advisor in the U.S. Senate, working on some of the most critical threats facing our national security. Sri went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard, where he started an initiative called “Breaking Bread,” aimed at reducing the partisan hostility and divisiveness afflicting our country.
Inspired by a calling to serve his country, Sri was commissioned as a United States Foreign Service Officer by Secretary of State Colin Powell. In the Foreign Service, Sri served tours overseas in Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan, and Jamaica, promoting American values, such as women’s rights, a free press, and religious tolerance. He speaks English, Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.