Phyllis Kahn, who was honored in 2009 as a Governing Public Official of the Year, has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1973. A member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, her interests in addition to science and technology include pension and investment policy, natural resources and women's rights.
Kahn earned her Ph.D. in biophysics from Yale University and her master's degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She the chief author of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (controlling smoking in public places); computer crime and computer virus laws; and legislation on nuclear safety, radioactive waste disposal, field tests of genetically modified crops and infectious waste disposal.
Prior to her election to the legislature, Kahn was a research associate in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota and taught classes in microbial genetics. She has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.