Jeanne Shaheen (born January 28, 1947) is an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and the Senior United States Senator from New Hampshire. The first woman in U.S. history to be elected as both a Governor and U.S. Senator, she was the first woman to be elected Governor of New Hampshire, serving from 1997 to 2003. Shaheen ran for the United States Senate in 2002, but was narrowly defeated by Republican challenger John E. Sununu. She then served as Director of the Harvard Institute of Politics, before resigning to run again for the U.S. Senate in the 2008 election, defeating Sununu in a rematch. Shaheen is the first Democratic Senator from NH since John A. Durkin, who retired in 1980, and is currently the most junior senior Senator.
Shaheen was born Cynthia Jeanne Bowers in Saint Charles, Missouri. She is the wife of Lebanese-American attorney and political operative Bill Shaheen. Together they have three children. She graduated from high school in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree from the University of Mississippi. She taught high school in Mississippi and moved to New Hampshire in 1973, where she taught school and owned a small business.
A Democrat, she worked on several campaigns before running for office in 1990, when she was elected to the state Senate. In 1996, 1998 and 2000 she was elected governor of New Hampshire.