special invited guest

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

Johnny Isakson is a lifelong businessman who is serving in his fifth decade of public service to the state of Georgia.

Isakson began his business career in 1967 when he opened the first Cobb County office of a small, family-owned real estate business, Northside Realty. During Isakson’s 20 years as president of Northside, the company grew into the largest independent residential real estate brokerage company in the Southeast and one of the largest in America.

Isakson entered politics in 1974 and served for 17 years in the Georgia Legislature in both the House and Senate. In 1997, then-Gov. Zell Miller appointed Isakson to lead of the Georgia Board of Education as chairman. Isakson was elected in 1999 to the U.S. House for the first of three terms, and he was elected in 2004 and 2010 to the U.S. Senate, where he is currently serving his second term.

Isakson brings commonsense leadership to Congress through his bipartisan efforts to address federal spending, reduce the debt, create jobs, and reform burdensome federal regulations. 

Isakson is a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Medicare and Social Security. He is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness with jurisdiction over a wide range of issues relevant to trade and U.S. competitiveness in world business -- both of which are key issues for Isakson’s home state of Georgia and the numerous companies located there that do business internationally.

He introduced the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act to end reckless spending and reform the federal budget process by converting it from an annual spending spree to a two-year cycle, with one year for appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted to much-needed oversight of federal programs.

On the Africa Subcommittee, Isakson worked to increase trade between the United States and Africa, and also pushed through a law requiring stronger protections for American Peace Corps volunteers serving around the globe.

On the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Isakson maintains his career-long commitment to improving education, and he has been a leader in finding the right balance on the critical labor issues facing employers and workers.

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Isakson has worked tirelessly to bring oversight and accountability to the agency responsible for providing care and support to our nation’s veterans. He has worked to strengthen our Armed Forces and continues to show unwavering commitment to the men and women serving our country today in addition to the veterans who served in years past.

Isakson also serves on the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, and takes very seriously his role in ensuring that he and his colleagues maintain the Senate’s high ethical standards.

Isakson graduated from UGA in 1966 and served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972. He and his wife Dianne married in 1968 and have three children and nine grandchildren. They live in Marietta and attend Mount Zion United Methodist Church, where Isakson taught sixth grade Sunday school for 30 years.