One of the most passionate and dedicated members of the Florida Legislature, Nan Rich was first elected to the Florida State Senate in 2004 after serving in the House of Representatives from 2000-2004. She served as leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus from 2010-2012 and was term-limited in November, 2012.
Senator Rich is widely recognized as one of Florida’s leading champions of children’s and social justice issues. She served on numerous Senate committees including Health and Human Services Appropriations, Vice Chair; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, Vice Chair; Regulated Industries; Reapportionment; Environmental Preservation and Conservation; and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
She also served on the Children & Youth Cabinet, whose mission is to ensure that public policy relating to children and youth promotes collaboration among agencies and delivers services in a holistic manner. Senator Rich sponsored the legislation in the Senate to create the Cabinet.
Prior to her election, Senator Rich was the National President of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) for the 1996-1999 triennium – the first Floridian elected to that office in the organization’s 119 year history. She has extensive experience in advocacy and community service, and has worked to improve the lives of women, children and families in her community, the U.S. and Israel. In 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed Ms. Rich to serve as a Board Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Senator Rich’s community experience includes years of advocacy and activism on behalf of women and children. In addition to her legislative duties, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of KIDS in Distress.
Her past community involvement includes:
- Chair, Broward County School Readiness Coalition
- Chair, Health and Human Services Board of Broward County
- Founding President, Board of Trustees of the Home Instruction Program for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY-USA)
- Chair, Florida State HIPPY Advisory Committee
- Board of Directors, NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University in Israel
- Founder, Guardian Ad Litem Program of Dade County
- Founder and past President, CHARLEE (residential homes for abused and neglected children)
- Founder and past President, Resourcemobile (a project that trains family child care providers.)
Prior to her election to the Florida House, she also served as a Vice Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the national planning and coordinating body for the organized Jewish community in the area of public affairs. She is past Chairwoman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Florida Association of Jewish Federations.
Some of Senator Rich’s most recent awards include:
- Florida PTA, 2012 Legislator of the Year Award
- Health Council of South Florida, Inc., 2012 Exceptional Public Service Award
- Florida Nurses Association 2012 Legislator of the Year
- National Black Child Development Institute 2012 Children's Champion Award
- Florida Council on Aging, 2012 Legislative Advocate of the Year
- Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade, 2009 Champions of Children Award for Public Policy
- Association of Early Learning Coalitions, 2009 Early Learning Champion Award
- Broward County Senior Hall of Fame, Inducted in 2009
- Aging and Disability Resource Center, 2008 Legislator of the Year
- Humane Society of the United States, Humane Legislator Award
Ms. Rich has been inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame and the Miami Beach High School Hall of Fame.
A long-time resident of Florida, Nan attended the University of Florida. She is married to David. They have four children and three grandchildren.