Meet Christie Vilsack

Press Release

Date: Jan. 1, 2008

Meet Christie Vilsack

Christie Vilsack is actively involved in strengthening communities in Iowa and nationally by advocating for family literacy, public libraries, school libraries, and computer literacy. With 30 years experience as a teacher, Christie understands the importance of a strong education in achieving success in life.

Christie was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where she gained a lifelong love of reading. Christie attended Kirkland College, a women's college in Clinton, New York. In her freshman year at Kirkland, Christie met Tom and the two married in 1973.

Following Tom's graduation from Albany Law School in 1975, Christie brought Tom to her hometown of Mount Pleasant. There, Christie taught eighth grade English for 15 years and freshman English and journalism for six years at Iowa Wesleyan College where she now serves as a board member. In 1992, Christie earned a master's degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and then worked as a columnist for the Mount Pleasant News and the online journal

As First Lady of Iowa, Christie worked closely with thousands of Iowans in creating the Iowa Stories 2000 Foundation, a statewide literacy initiative designed to help communities better understand the importance of local libraries, early childhood reading and family storytelling. Each year from 2000 to 2006, through Iowa Stories, Christie gave a book to every kindergarten student in Iowa. In 2006, Christie reached and surpassed her goal of visiting 500 libraries across Iowa, where she met with and read to thousands children and citizens to promote literacy.

In 2006, Iowa Stories 2000 changed its name to the Vilsack Foundation and has since focused on issues of computer literacy. Through a partnership with the National Center for Family Literacy and the Verizon Foundation, Christie helped create the Tech Savvy Awards to assist community-based nonprofit organizations, libraries, and schools in incorporating computer literacy as a component of their literacy programs.

A talented public servant in her own right, Christie has actively campaigned for Tom throughout Iowa and will continue to do so across the United States. In 2004, Christie addressed the Democratic National Convention.

Christie and Tom have two adult sons whom they raised on Main Street in Mount Pleasant: Jess, a 29-year-old former prosecutor, who coordinates Iowa outreach for Tom's campaign; and Doug, a 26-year-old law student at the University of Colorado.