Meet Don

Congressman Don Beyer is serving his fifth term as the U.S. Representative from Virginia’s 8th District, representing Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and parts of Fairfax County.

Don is the senior House Democrat on Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, and serves on the essential House Committee on Ways and Means.  He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition’s Climate Change Task Force and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  He also founded the Congressional Fusion Caucus.

Don’s public service began in 1986 when Governor Gerald Baliles appointed him to the Commonwealth Transportation Board, responsible for overseeing the Virginia Department of Transportation and allocating highway funding to specific projects. From 1990 to 1998, Don served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia where his signature work included advocacy for Virginians with disabilities and ensuring protections for Virginia’s most vulnerable populations as Virginia reformed its welfare system. He was also Virginia’s Democratic nominee for Governor in 1997.

After leaving office, Don served in a variety of leadership roles.  He spent 15 years as chair of Jobs for Virginia Graduates, a highly successful high school dropout prevention program. Don continues to serve on the National Board for Jobs for America’s Graduates. 

He was also active for a decade on the board of the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  As chair of the Virginia Economic Recovery Commission, he helped pass permanent pro-business reforms and was co-founder of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Don was founding chair of Alexandria Community Trust (ACT), where he served in leadership for five years. He was also president and a member of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), where he represented 10,000 international nameplate automobile dealers.

An active leader in Democratic politics, Don served as the Virginia chair of the Clinton-Gore and Kerry-Edwards presidential campaigns and was the treasurer and Virginia chair for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.  He chaired the DNC’s Democratic Business Council in 2005 and was finance chair of Sen. Mark Warner’s “Forward Together” presidential exploratory committee in 2006.  For Pres. Obama, Don served as mid-Atlantic finance chair for the campaign and later acted as Transition Team Leader for the Department of Commerce.

In 2009, Pres. Obama nominated Don to serve as ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He used his position to advocate for stricter sanctions to compel Iran to begin nuclear disarmament discussions. As ambassador, Don was integral to US Department of Justice efforts to halt the abuses of Swiss bank secrecy by wealthy Americans.

For four decades, Don helped build his family’s business in Northern Virginia following a summer job at the dealership in 1974.  He sold the business in 2019.

Don, born in the Free Territory of Trieste, is the son of U.S. Army officer Donald Sternoff Beyer Sr., and his wife, Nancy McDonald. His grandmother, Clara Mortenson Beyer, was a pioneer in labor economics and workers’ rights and instrumental in implementing minimum wage legislation via the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Don’s grandfather, Otto S. Beyer Jr. was Chairman of the National Mediation Board.

Don is a graduate of Williams College and of Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. He was named a Presidential Scholar by President Lyndon Johnson. Don has four children and two grandchildren. He and his wife Megan live in Alexandria, Virginia.