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U.S. Representative Mark Edward Souder was first elected to Congress in 1994 after working for U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) for 10 years during Coats' tenure in the House and Senate.
A senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Souder is the lead Republican on the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism. He is also a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Education and Labor.
From 2001 to early 2007, Congressman Souder served as Chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. The subcommittee had jurisdiction over the domestic and international anti-drug efforts throughout the federal government, and it was the authorizing subcommittee for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). In addition, the panel had oversight of several other agencies, including the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the National Park Service, as well as the Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development.
In 2002, Congressman Souder's subcommittee released a comprehensive 100-page report on our nation’s border security, the first ever such report issued by a congressional committee. Over the years, the subcommittee proceeded to conduct extensive hearings examining faith-based organizations and the National Park System. In 2006, Souder authored much of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, the most comprehensive anti-meth law ever passed by Congress. Later that year, his ONDCP Reauthorization Act was signed into law.
Through his committee and floor work, Souder has been a champion of legislation to make faith-based organizations eligible to receive federal grants to help address cultural problems such as drug addiction, teen pregnancy and gang activity. The co-founder and co-chairman of the National Parks Caucus, he is one of Congress’s strongest supporters of our nation’s national parks, monuments and historical sites.
During the 106th Congress, the prestigious Congressional Quarterly magazine named Souder one of the four most effective "conservative true believers" in Congress. He and Senator Richard Lugar were highlighted as two of CQ’s Top 50 leaders in the premier edition of the publication’s honorary list.
Mark Souder graduated from Leo High School in 1968 and from Indiana University at Fort Wayne in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. Had he not been elected to Congress, perhaps his most significant achievement would have been his involvement in naming the IPFW "Mastodons" while he was student body president. Souder was one of the founders of the IPFW Alumni Association and one of its first Indiana University alumni presidents. He received an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1974, and in 1999 Souder and the three other members of Congress who are Notre Dame graduates were featured in the university’s television ads on NBC during home football games.
Mark's family founded Souder's of Grabill in 1907. He is currently managing partner of Historic Souder’s of Grabill, which owns the land and buildings of Souder’s General Store, the Country Shops of Grabill and is the home of Elias Ruff Restaurant.
Mark married the former Diane Zimmer of South Bend in 1974. They have three grown children - Brooke, Nathan and Zachary - and two grandchildren, Grant and Reagan. The Souders reside in Fort Wayne where they attend Emmanuel Community Church.