The EDWIN C. WHITEHEAD AWARD FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH ADVOCACY recognizes exemplary leaders — like Kay Granger — who have shown a long-standing commitment to advancing health research as a national priority and who galvanize others in support of science policy and funding.
A leader in national defense and global security, Kay Granger serves and fights for the 12th congressional district of Texas, which includes Wise County, Parker County, and the western half of Tarrant County. Since making history in 1997 as the first Republican woman to represent Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, Granger has earned her reputation in Congress as an influential conservative leader.
In 2020, Granger was re-elected by her colleagues to serve as the Ranking Member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee in the 117th Congress. As the Committee’s Lead Republican since 2019, Granger advocates for Republican priorities and fiscal responsibility – while working closely with House leadership, the Senate, and the White House to ensure that the needs of the American people are properly met and funded.
Granger was previously the first Republican woman to sit on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and went on to serve as the Chairwoman of the powerful subcommittee, which accounts for the majority of all federal funding appropriated by the Committee. As Chairwoman, Granger’s priorities were bolstering America’s military, supporting our service members and their families, and reversing harmful, arbitrary budget cuts to our national defense. She also previously served as the Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, insisting on transparency in the State Department and diplomatic community, including in the probe into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
Granger has received many honors for her unshakeable commitment to our military and to restoring America’s strength and power in the world. In 2020, she was awarded the U.S. National Guard Association’s Harry S. Truman Award, the Association’s highest honor. She has also received the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award and the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the top civilian honors respectively bestowed by the Secretaries of the Navy and the Army. Granger is proud to use her knowledge of national security and appropriations to secure funding vital to not only our common defense but also the North Texas defense industry and the tens of thousands of hardworking Texans who make the Fort Worth metroplex America’s top defense industrial hub.
A native Texan, Granger knows firsthand how crucial it is to secure our Southern border from cartels and cross-border crimes. Granger has visited the U.S.-Mexico border many times to oversee the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. For her specialized expertise in border and immigration issues, she was selected to lead the special task force addressing the 2014 crisis when 60,000 migrant children were displaced along the Southern border.
Because of her commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, Granger played a key role in funding the current Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, which has allowed cooperation between our countries to reach unprecedented heights.
Granger has also been recognized for her strong support of NASA and U.S. dominance in the highest domain. She is a champion of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman on the Moon by 2024. She urged the creation of the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command, and fiercely advocates on behalf of Texas’ longstanding role at the center of America’s great space program.
Granger is an inductee of the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame, and she has received the Texas Association of Business’ Bob Bolen Champion of Free Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award and the Texas Wesleyan University’s Law Sone Medal. In 2020, Granger’s office was recognized by the Congressional Management Foundation with the Democracy Award, the premier accolade for Congressional offices demonstrating excellence in constituent services.
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, sits on the Board of Directors of the International Republican Institute and Southwestern University, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.
A lifelong resident of Fort Worth, Granger attended local public schools and graduated from Texas Wesleyan University. The powerful example set by her mother, a longtime principal in the Birdville Independent School District, instilled in her the importance of giving back to the community. Granger began her professional life following her mother’s advice and following in her footsteps, teaching high school journalism and English at Richland High School. Later, as the owner of a successful small business, she entered public service to address issues impacting her community. Granger served as the Chair of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission, then was elected to the City Council—and in 1991, she was elected the first female Mayor of Fort Worth. In her five-year tenure as Mayor, Granger oversaw a period of rapid economic growth and led innovative crime-fighting reforms that slashed crime across the city about 50%. Her success as Mayor was recognized when Fort Worth received the coveted All-America City Award from the National Civic League. Granger also led the successful crusade to preserve Fort Worth’s military base installation through establishing America’s first-ever Joint Reserve Base.
Granger is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth and is the proud mother of three children and grandmother of five. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and is an avid painter.
For more information about the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, click here.