Marcia Louise Fudge, born on October 29, 1952, is a notable American lawyer and politician who has been serving as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the U.S. since 2021. Affiliated with the Democratic Party, she was previously the U.S. representative for Ohio’s 11th congressional district from 2008 to 2021, a region predominantly comprising African-American communities in Cleveland and Akron.
Her political journey intensified following Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s demise in 2008, leading Fudge to run unopposed in the subsequent special election. During the 113th Congress, she notably chaired the Congressional Black Caucus and briefly considered running for Speaker of the House at the outset of the 116th Congress before supporting Nancy Pelosi.
President Joe Biden nominated her for her current position on December 10, 2020. After a Senate Committee vote and a full Senate confirmation (66–34), she was virtually sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 10, 2021, becoming the second African-American woman in this role.
Fudge’s roots trace back to Cleveland, Ohio, where she was born and later graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1971. She acquired a Bachelor of Science in business from the Ohio State University in 1975 and a Juris Doctor from the Cleveland State University College of Law in 1983.
Before her congressional tenure, she gained diverse experience as a law clerk, legal researcher, and held a significant role in the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office. Fudge broke barriers as the first female and first African-American mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, from 2000 until her congressional appointment in 2008. She also contributed as Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s chief of staff and served on the Cleveland Public Library’s board of trustees.
In Congress, Fudge succeeded Jones and retained her seat with overwhelming support, emphasizing her seniority and influence. Her political narrative includes a brief consideration for House Speaker and discussions for a role as Secretary of Agriculture before her appointment to her current position. She resigned from the House upon her Senate confirmation, with Shontel Brown succeeding her through a special election.
Fudge’s impact extends beyond her administrative roles, as evidenced by her strategic involvement in the Congressional Black Caucus, particularly in mobilizing Black voters by highlighting Republican critiques of President Obama. Her career reflects a dedicated journey of service, leadership, and representation within American politics.