Elise Stefanik

1 minute read
By Charlotte Alter

Elise Stefanik is the highest-ranking woman in the House GOP and, since shedding her more moderate persona to fully embrace Donald Trump, is increasingly seen as a standard bearer for the party. First elected from upstate New York as the vanguard of a more bipartisan GOP, Stefanik, 39, now counts as one of Trump’s most powerful allies in Congress, having spent the past three years supporting his efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s win, amplifying false claims about election irregularities, and saying she would not have certified the 2020 election results. She’s now rumored to be on Trump’s short list of potential VP candidates. More recently, Stefanik has become a leading force in the conservative push to investigate DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and antisemitism on college campuses; her pointed questioning of university presidents at a congressional hearing contributed to the resignation of the president of the University of Pennsylvania, and kick-started a pressure campaign that resulted in the resignation of the president of Harvard University, her alma mater.

Alter is a TIME senior correspondent

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