James E. Clyburn has been a member of the U.S. Congress since 1993. In 1998, he was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus in a rare unanimous vote.
Clyburn has been an ardent supporter of environmental justice issues and civil rights. He is widely recognized as a conciliator, and his leadership style is measured, reflective, and managerial.
Prior to his election to Congress, Clyburn worked as a high school history teacher. He also worked on Great Society programs. After attending University of South Carolina Law School, he served as South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner.
In recent years, Clyburn has risen to prominence in the U.S. Congress. In 2005, he served in the House Democratic Caucus leadership as Vice Chair, and was the fourth-ranking Democratic representative for the 109th Congress. Additionally, Clyburn served as the House majority whip from 2007 to 2011. He has also been the Assistant Democratic Leader since 2011, making him the third most influential Democrat in the House.