Congressman Shri Thanedar proudly represents the people of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, which includes much of Wayne County including the city of Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and Downriver. Congressman Thanedar is passionate about fighting to improve the lives of hard working families in metro-Detroit.
Prior to being elected to Congress in 2022, Congressman Thanedar served in the Michigan House of Representatives. At the State Capitol he helped pass the largest increase in per-pupil funding for Michigan Public Schools in state history. Congressman Thanedar knows first hand how important education can be for a young person, just as it was for him.
Born into a large family in Southern India, Congressman Thanedar knows firsthand the struggles and stigma of poverty. At times his family home lacked running water and electricity and he was sometimes unsure of where his next meal would come from. But, in 1979, after completing his undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Chemistry, Congressman Thanedar came to America in order to complete his PHD in Chemistry at the University of Akron, which he earned in 1982. He later became a US Citizen in 1988. While in school, Congressman Thanedar worked as a janitor to make ends meet and at times slept in his car.
After completing his education, Congressman Thanedar worked as a researcher and eventually an entrepreneur where he built successful companies. His companies employed hundreds of people and helped in the development of life-saving pharmaceutical drugs. In recognition of his success, Congressman Thanedar was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997, 2007, and 2016. In 2016, when Congressman Thanedar sold his business, he shared $1.5 million from the sale with his 50 employees with amounts based on their tenure – a company secretary who was the longest serving employee received the largest bonus.
After Congressman Thanedar retired as a business leader and scientist, he took up the calling of public service. In 2018 he ran for Governor of Michigan. While not victorious, Congressman Thanedar advocated for working families by bringing forward critical issues like universal health care, raising the minimum wage, and improving Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure. In 2020, he ran successfully for the Michigan Legislature. There he served on the powerful appropriations committee and helped bring millions of dollars back to his Detroit based district.
Congressman Thanedar will never forget what it's like to live in poverty, and he will never stop working to lift Michigan families out of it. That’s why he’s committed to fighting for more education and job training resources for southeast Michigan, a higher minimum wage, universal health care, and programs to jumpstart entrepreneurship in historically disenfranchised communities. Together, these initiatives will close the racial wealth gap and help more families in southeast Michigan thrive.
Congressman Thanedar lives in Detroit’s Palmer Woods neighborhood with his wife Shashi. He is a proud father and grandfather.