Left to right: Former ISS President Jeanne Jacob; Speaker Hastert; Gov. George Ryan.
A native of Illinois, The Hon. J. Dennis Hastert was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986. He represents Illinois' l4th District, an area west of Chicago that boasts high-tech firms, industrial complexes and expansive farm land. On January 6, 1999, Rep. Hastert was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his election as Speaker, Hastert served as Chief Deputy Whip, a leadership position he had held since the 104th Congress. Throughout his tenure in the U.S. House, Hastert has worked to balance the budget, improve the nation's health care system, and to ensure that every child receives a quality education. In the years preceding his election to Congress, Hastert served three terms in the Illinois General Assembly, where he spearheaded legislation on child abuse prevention, property tax reform, educational excellence and economic development. He also spent sixteen years as a high school teacher and wrestling coach. Speaker Hastert is a graduate of Wheaton College and earned his master's degree from Northern Illinois University at DeKalb. He is a past president of the Illinois State Society.