Legislative Assistant: Krysta Niedernhofer 651-296-7173
Minneapolis 115 West Island Ave., 55401; 612-378-2591
Education: B.A., physics, Cornell University; Ph.D., biophysics, Yale University; M.P.A., Harvard University
Family: Married, spouse Donald, 2 children
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Phyllis Kahn is a member of the Minnesota Legislature serving her 21st term. She has a B.A. in physics from Cornell, a Ph.D. in biophysics from Yale and a M.P.A. from the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard.
Rep. Kahn currently serves as Chair of the Legacy Committee. In addition, she is a member of the Ways and Means, Government Operations, State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs, and Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committees. She is also a member of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement.
Her legislative interests include issues dealing with pension and investment policy, science and technology (most recently DNA testing and the role of biotechnology in agriculture) information policy, natural resources and women's rights.
Prior to her election to the legislature, Rep. Kahn was a research associate at the University of Minnesota in the College of Biological Sciences and also taught some classes in microbial genetics.
She was the chief author of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (controlling smoking in public places), the computer crime and computer virus laws, and legislation on nuclear safety, radioactive waste disposal, field tests of genetically modified crops and infectious waste disposal. She also authored laws to require gender equity in athletics and laws prohibiting discrimination based on age or disability.
Rep. Kahn has been instrumental in obtaining funding for parks, trails, historic preservation, art-enhancement of State buildings, and the expansion of community and urban forests. She has served on many national committees, particularly in the field of Science and Public Policy. She has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and served as the Chair of the AAAS Section on General Interest in Science and Engineering.
Phyllis was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is married to Donald Kahn, a professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota. They have two adult children and six grandchildren. In her spare time she runs, bikes, plays ice hockey with a co-ed group and has won first prize at the State Fair for her “guiltless” cheesecake recipe and two second prizes for an "industrial strength" chocolate pie.
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