Martin Frost, Vice President

The Honorable Martin Frost, Vice President, US Association of Former Members of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives 1979-2005

With 26 years of legislative experience, Martin Frost, a keen observer of national politics and policy, is regarded as a preeminent political analyst among his peers. He held numerous leadership positions in his party and is also considered to be one of its top strategists, an innovative lawmaker who is able to craft bipartisan legislation, and a strong fundraiser for fellow Democrats. He is also the co-author, with Congressman Tom Davis (V-RA) of The PARTISAN DIVIDE: Congress in Crisis, which looks at how to solve the gridlock in Washington. In his presentations, Martin Frost addresses our current political climate, what to expect from Congress after the election, and what it takes to achieve bi-partisan cooperation.


Distinguished Political Career. Early in his political career, Frost served six years on the House Budget Committee and was chairman of the Health Task Force from 1985–1988. During the 1996 and 1998 elections, Frost was the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a position he utilized to help his party gain 14 seats in the House. In 1999, he earned the distinguished role of chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the party’s third-highest leadership role. During his last term, Frost held noteworthy positions as the ranking member of the House Rules Committee and highest ranking Southerner in the House Democratic Leadership. He was also the senior southern democrat in the House and the dean of the Texas congressional delegation.


Diverse Political Expertise. Martin Frost devoted considerable time to issues surrounding national defense. He was the principal author of the 1992 Industrial Base and Defense Conversion Act, which helped repurpose companies in light of the downsizing defense industry. Frost also championed child safety by authoring the National Amber Alert law, which helps locate victimized children by publicizing their abduction. Also a long-time defender of business rights, Frost won the 1994 Spirit of Enterprise award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his votes supporting free enterprise. Frost is also a co-author of both the privacy provisions in the landmark financial industry deregulation statute and the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Billey Act.


Martin Frost chaired a special House Task Force from 1990–1995 that helped European nations transition to democracy after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also co-chaired a bipartisan group on government continuity, which worked to ensure that the federal government would be able to operate after a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. He continues to promote democracy through his efforts with the National Democratic Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy.


Noteworthy Educational Background. Martin Frost earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following his graduation from Georgetown Law School, he practiced in Dallas until his election in 1978. In 2005, Frost was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and in 2006, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars named him a public policy scholar.


Frost is currently Chairman of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED),
a bi-partisan foundation that promotes democracy around the world.