Women Legislators' Lobby

About WiLL Vice President Sandy Pappas

Senator Sandy Pappas

Senator Sandy Pappas

Senator Sandy Pappas was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1984 and in 1990 was elected to the Minnesota State Senate.  She served as President of the Minnesota Senate from 2013-16.

Throughout her legislative career, Senator Pappas has been a fervent advocate for human rights. She has fought tirelessly for women, children, workers, refugees, immigrants, and other vulnerable groups. Over the years, she has passed legislation to prohibit sex trafficking and provide services to victims; to curtail the investment of state funds in the Darfur region of Sudan; to provide emergency contraception for sexual assault victims; to allow children of undocumented parents to attend Minnesota state colleges and receive financial aid (MN Dream Act);  to restrict state agencies from purchasing products made with “conflict minerals;” and passed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act.

In addition to her legislative duties, Senator Pappas serves as Vice President for the Women Legislators Lobby (WiLL), vice chair for the nonprofit World Without Genocide, on the board of the Senate Presidents’ Forum and the National Association of Jewish Legislators (NAJL), and was Treasurer of the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association.

Her deep interest in international relations and women’s rights has also led Senator Pappas to coordinate and participate in numerous study trips including multiple trips to Cuba; two tours to Turkey; a health study tour to Ethiopia; to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco & Egypt to meet women leaders; and she led a delegation to Taiwan.  In 2011 she co-sponsored a Global Women’s Leadership Convening at St. Catherine University in St. Paul which brought women leaders together from Israel, Jordan and Minnesota.  In August 2013, Sen. Pappas co-founded, Forward Global Women (www.forwardglobalwomen.org) , which trains women leaders and peacemakers from the MENA (Middle East-North Africa) region to be stronger leaders and peacebuilders .

Senator Pappas has an MPA degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  She is married to Neal Gosman. They have three grown daughters and 22 grandchildren who all live in Tsfat, Israel.

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