Jeffrey Alan "Jeff" Merkley (born October 24, 1956) is the junior United States Senator from Oregon. A member of the Democratic Party, Merkley was a five-term member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly representing House District 47, located in eastern Multnomah County within the Portland city limits. He also served as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.
He defeated two-term Republican incumbent Gordon Smith in the 2008 U.S. Senate election.
Merkley was born in Myrtle Creek, Oregon to Darrell and Betty Merkley. He attended first grade in Roseburg before moving to Portland with his family. He graduated from David Douglas High School, obtained a bachelor of arts degree in International Relations from Stanford University in 1979, and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University in 1982.