Biography 
Rep. Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Caucus Secretary

Continuing to rely on her proven entrepreneurial and public sector experience to advance economic development opportunities and preserve traditional values to make Clarion, Armstrong and Forest counties an even better region to live, work and raise a family, Rep. Donna Oberlander was sworn in to serve her fifth term as state representative for the 63rd Legislative District in January 2017.

For the second consecutive term, Donna was selected by her colleagues to serve in a leadership position as House Republican Caucus Secretary for the 2017-18 legislative session. The responsibilities of caucus secretary include recording all official legislative activities in the House of Representatives, and was unchallenged in her bid to resume working in this capacity. She also serves as chairman of the House Gas and Oil Caucus and the House Diabetes Caucus.

During her time as a state representative, Donna served as a House Republican Deputy Whip and on the following standing committees: Appropriations, Children and Youth, Environmental Resources and Energy, and Local Government.

To date, four pieces of her legislation have been signed into law, including a successful effort to repeal the Uniform Construction Code mandate that required sprinkler systems to be installed in all newly constructed residential housing (Act 1 of 2011). Other laws she has authored includes Act 45 to rename a local bridge in memory of a local hero who died in action in Afghanistan and Act 13 that allows Pennsylvania to opt out of abortion coverage through federal health care exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act. During the most recent session, she authored Act 171 of 2016 to require the state Department of General Services to establish a process to formally recognize all Pennsylvania-based minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses – also known as “diverse/disadvantaged” businesses -- to make it easier to do business.

In recognition of her strong support for pro-business legislation, Donna has earned four consecutive “Guardian of Small Business” awards from the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

For her work to advance education initiatives, she received the Hillman Award and was named the “Pennsylvania Rural Educator of the Year” in 2015 from the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS). Oberlander was specifically cited for her contributions to improving education and opportunities for rural students.

Before her time in the state House, Donna was elected to the Clarion County Board of Commissioners, where she aggressively worked to control local government spending and took an active role in strategic planning for economic development and growth. A proud graduate of Clarion University where she actively serves as a member of the university’s Council of Trustees.

Donna resides in Clarion with her husband, Derek, a United States Marine Corps veteran, and their two children, Tori and Tanner.  

The 63rd Legislative District includes all of Clarion County and the Armstrong County communities of Bradys Bend, Cowanshannock, Hovey, Madison, Mahoning, Perry, Pine, Plumcreek, Redbank, Sugarcreek, Washington and Wayne townships and Atwood, Dayton, Elderton, Rural Valley and South Bethlehem boroughs, as well as Parker City, along with Jenks and Barnett townships in Forest County.

Learn more on her Facebook page. 

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