Jamie Pedersen grew up in Puyallup, graduated from Puyallup High School and worked at McDonald’s to help put himself through Yale College, where he studied Russian and history, and graduated summa cum laude.After spending a year living in Russia and collecting oral histories of Soviet Afghan war veterans, Jamie attended Yale Law School. He clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then returned to Seattle – and Capitol Hill – in 1995. He practiced corporate law at Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates) for 17 years. Since May 2012, he has been Vice President and General Counsel for McKinstry, a Seattle-based construction and engineering firm with substantial expertise in green building.
Jamie was elected to the House of Representatives in 2006 and was appointed to the Senate in December 2013. He serves as the ranking member on the Senate Health Care Committee and also serves on the Law & Justice Committee and the Trade and Economic Development Committee. For the last five years, he served as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. During his tenure in the House, he also served on the House Appropriations Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, the Higher Education Committee, the Health Care & Wellness Committee, the Business & Financial Services Committee, and the Capital Budget Committee. Jamie serves on the Legislative Ethics Board and the Office of Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee and is a commissioner in the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws.
Jamie helped to organize and was a plaintiff in League of Education Voters v. State of Washington, the case that overturned several Tim Eyman initiatives that purported to require 2/3 majorities to pass tax increases in the legislature.
Jamie is actively involved in many community and nonprofit organizations. He is the past President and current Treasurer of Central Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, where he helped to establish a nonprofit to run a community lunch program that feeds hundreds of people each week.
Jamie chaired the board of the national civil rights organization Lambda Legal, and served as Lambda’s lead volunteer lawyer on the state’s marriage equality case. He also provides free legal services to a variety of nonprofits, such as Social Venture Partners, Seattle Girls’ Choir, and Flying House Productions. He has sung in the Seattle Men’s Chorus since 1996.
Jamie lives on Capitol Hill with his husband, Eric Pedersen, and their sons Trygve, Leif, Erik and Anders.