Susheela was born in India, and grew up in India, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Her parents emphasized the importance of integrity, hard work, and independence; and when she was 16, they used all of their savings to send her to the United States for college. Jayapal attended Swarthmore College, where she majored in Economics.
After receiving her law degree from the University of Chicago, Susheela worked as an attorney in private practice, and later became general counsel for Adidas America, where she was the only woman and only person of color in senior leadership at the time. There she led the company’s legal compliance work, and protected workers rights by creating a system to ensure factories adhered to US labor standards overseas.
A mother of two, Susheela has been an outspoken champion for reproductive rights, education, and economic justice. Prior to entering elected office, she was a dedicated community advocate and volunteer, serving on numerous local boards, including Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Metropolitan Family Service, and All Hands Raised; and as an advocate with CASA for Children among others.
Susheela most recently served on the Multnomah County Commission, where she’s been a stalwart advocate for comprehensive solutions to homelessness, including expanding shelter, creating more affordable housing, long term rent assistance, and behavioral health services; and has fought to provide a living wage to workers on the frontlines of our mental health and homelessness crisis. She’s been recognized for her work supporting survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking; has strengthened support for immigrant and refugee communities; and has secured funding for innovative community-led crime prevention initiatives.
In Congress, Susheela will continue to be a strong progressive voice, fighting for the health and safety of our community, championing abortion rights, taking on big polluters and fighting climate change, and standing up to election deniers to defend our democracy. She’s committed to ensuring America lives up to its promise of opportunity for all, with no community left behind; and to the vision of a country that we can be proud to leave to our children and our grandchildren.