Eric P. Lesser was elected to the Massachusetts Senate on November 4, 2014. He represents nine communities in the First Hampden & Hampshire District, proudly serving Western Massachusetts as one of the youngest members of the State Senate.
Lesser’s legislative agenda focuses on the fight for greater economic opportunity and quality of life for Western Massachusetts, with initiatives around high-speed rail, a high-tech economy, job training, and innovation in government. Elected at the age of 29, Senator Lesser also spearheads the Senate’s agenda on millennial issues, including technology policy, student debt, and greater youth engagement in public affairs.
During his first term in office, Senator Lesser helped pass significant new laws related to substance abuse treatment and prevention, job training, and promotion of tourism and the arts. In his second term, he co-authored An Act Providing Continued Investment in the Life Sciences Industry in the Commonwealth, signed by the Governor in June 2018, which established $623 million in bond authorization for education, workforce training, and research and development in the life sciences sector. He also co-authored An Act Relative to Economic Development in the Commonwealth, a jobs and infrastructure bill that provided $1.15 billion in bond authorization for municipal infrastructure, waterfronts, and downtowns; established a new apprenticeship tax credit; and restricted the use of non-competition agreements.
Senator Lesser holds several leadership positions in the Legislature. He is Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Senate Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, and Senate Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, the Gateway Cities Caucus, and the Libraries Caucus as well as Senate Co-Chair of the Food Systems Caucus.
Prior to becoming a state Senator, Lesser worked in the Obama White House, first as Special Assistant to Senior Adviser David Axelrod, and later as Director of Strategic Planning for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Lesser began as a young aide on President Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign, traveling to 47 states and six countries with then-Senator Obama and his senior team. Lesser has been described as “the face of the promised Obama political generation” by the New York Times.
Lesser has a law degree from Harvard Law School, a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He holds a number of national recognitions, including a Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership at the Aspen Institute, and Co-Chairs the Future of Work Initiative at NewDEAL, a national network of pro-growth, progressive state and local elected officials. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Student Borrower Protection Center, a new advocacy group for student loan borrowers, and teaches workshops on campaigns, elections, and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Lesser lives in Longmeadow, just blocks from where he grew up, with his wife, Alison, two young daughters, Rose and Nora, and family dog Cooper.