BIOGRAPHY OF PUBLIC SERVICE
Arizona State Majority Leader Kimberly Yee is a native of Phoenix, Arizona and represents Arizona's 20th Legislative District where she was born and raised. She is the first Asian American woman elected to serve in the Arizona Legislature in the state's history. Senator Yee is the second woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader since U.S. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor served the position in the Arizona Senate in 1973.
Senate Majority Leader Yee serves as Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee and serves as a member of the Senate Committee on Education and the Committee on Health and Human Services. She is a former member of the committees on Finance, Judiciary and Elections and the Joint Legislative Income Tax Credit Review Committee.
In 2016, Senator Yee was named among the nation's "25 Most Influential Women in State Politics" by Congressional Quarterly's Roll Call, the leading media organization covering Congress.
She was also named in 2016 among the nation's "Emerging Leaders" by GOPAC, the largest Republican state and local political training organization and is a member of GOPAC 's Legislative Leaders Advisory Board.
Senator Yee was a speaker on the stage at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on the opening day of the convention. The Republican National Committee named Senator Yee a "Rising Star" at the 2014 Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. Former RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described Kimberly as a leader who will have "a tremendous impact on our party and who I'm certain will play a major role in shaping our party's future."
Senator Yee is the former Chairman of her legislative district's Republican Committee. In 2008, she was elected as a national delegate representing her home state of Arizona at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. During the convention, Kimberly was a daily correspondent providing news updates for national KLOVE and AIR 1 radio broadcasting, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, the Arizona Republic and the FOX Broadcasting Network, including FOX 10 Arizona News. She has served as an elected precinct committeewoman and a member of the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee.
EXPERIENCE AND LEADERSHIP IN DISTRICT 20
The voters of Arizona's 20th Legislative District elected Kimberly as State Senator in 2012. She was elected and served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2010 to 2012. She had previously served for a partial term as an appointed State Representative. She is the first Asian American woman elected to serve in the Arizona Legislature in our state's history.
Kimberly was elected in 2006 as the Chairman of the Legislative District Republican Committee and has served for many years as an elected precinct committeeman and state committeeman. She has also served as a member of the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republicans.
In 2008, she was elected as a national delegate and proudly represented her home state of Arizona at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. During the convention, Kimberly was a daily correspondent providing news updates for national KLOVE and AIR 1 radio broadcasting, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, the Arizona Republic and the FOX Broadcasting Network, including FOX 10 Arizona News.
Kimberly is an example of homegrown leadership as she was educated in the schools of District 20, including Tumbleweed Elementary School, Sunburst Elementary School and Desert Foothills Junior High School. She is a graduate of Greenway High School.
Kimberly later graduated from Pepperdine University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University and was the recipient of the honored Scholar-Citizen Award.
PUBLIC SERVICE AND POLICY EXPERTISE
Kimberly has committed her professional life to public service for 20 years and has served under the executive administrations of two governors, a state treasurer and a state superintendent of public administration.
APPOINTED BY TREASURER DEAN MARTIN
Kimberly has served Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin as Director of Communications and Government Affairs promoting sound fiscal conservative principles and advancing laws protecting the pocketbooks of hard-working Arizona citizens, taxpayers and consumers.
APPOINTED BY GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
In 2004, Kimberly was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as his Deputy Cabinet Secretary and was a member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Cabinet. She served as the Governor’s liaison to the executive branch state agencies and provided policy advisement to the Governor in the areas of K-12, vocational, and higher education, state and consumer services, labor and workforce development, and the California Performance Review.
ARIZONA LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE
With real Capitol experience at the Arizona Legislature, Kimberly served as senior staff to the Senate Committee on Education for the Arizona Legislature from 1998 to 2003 where she gained first-hand experience in the legislative process and helped draft many of Arizona’s state laws to improve and advance the state’s public education system, including the areas of preschool, elementary and secondary education, charter schools, vocational education and workforce training programs, community colleges and universities.
APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR PETE WILSON
In 1997, Kimberly was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson and took an oath of office serving as the state’s policy analyst to the State Board of Education helping develop the state’s academic content standards outlining what students should be able to know in various subjects by the end of each grade level. State tests are aligned with these rigorous academic standards to measure student achievement.
Kimberly began her career in public service as a Fellow to the prestigious California Executive Fellowship Program in 1996, and served her term in the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, specializing in child care, preschool development, and K-12 education and children’s issues.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE EXPERIENCE
At the local level, Kimberly provided administrative services in the early 1990’s at the Maricopa County prosecutor’s office. Later at the federal level, Kimberly worked for the United States Department of Justice in the Fraud Section, Criminal Division in Washington, D.C. providing assistance in policy research and paralegal services.
In 2016, Kimberly was named among the nation's "Emerging Leaders" by GOPAC, the largest Republican state and local political training organization. The 2016 Class of Emerging Leaders is a group of promising legislators across the country selected for their potential and ability to impact their state and the Republican Party at the leadership level.
In 2015, Kimberly was named among Phoenix Magazine's "Stars of the Future" and was recognized with the Friend of the Family Award by the Arizona Family Project, the Champion of the Taxpayer by the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity and the AZBio Trailblazer Award.
In 2014, Kimberly was named a "Rising Star" by the Republican National Committee and was recognized as a leader selected from across the country who "will play a major role in shaping the party's future" and represents the party's message of "freedom and opportunity," according to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
Kimberly was named the 2014 Hero of the Taxpayer Award, the 2013 Legislator of the Year Award by both the Arizona Optometric Association and the Arizona Association of County School Superintendents, and was named "Friend of the First Amendment and a Supporter of the People's Right to Know" by the Arizona Newspapers Association. In 2013 and 2014, she was honored with the AZBio Trailblazer Award and by the Arizona Mining Association as a Friend of Mining.
During her first term in office, Kimberly was the recipient of the following awards: Representative of the Year Award by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Friend of the Taxpayer by the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, Leaders of the Year in Public Policy Award by the Arizona Capitol Times, Friend of the Family Award by the Arizona Family Project, the 2011 Freedom of Information Award by the Arizona Newspapers Association, the 2012 School Choice Champion Award by the Arizona Council for American Private Education, the 2012 Arts Hero Award, the AZBio Trailblazer Award, and the Tech Ten Legislator Award by the Arizona Technology Council. She was also honored as one of Arizona's 48 Most Intriguing Women in a book published by the Arizona Centennial Legacy Project.
Kimberly is blessed to be a wife and mother. She and her husband own a small local business in the West Valley. Kimberly enjoys spending time with family and friends, and volunteers in her church and community.