Cole, Tom (4/28/1949- )

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  • Number of Terms: 1
  • Occupation: College professor, politician
  • Roles: Facilities, Strategic Planning and Programs Committees
  • Biography: a Representative from Oklahoma; born in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, La., on April 28, 1949; graduated from Moore High School, Moore, Okla.; B.A., Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, 1971; M.A., Yale University, New Haven, Conn., 1974; Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla., 1984; consultant; faculty, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.; faculty, Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Okla.; staff, United States Representative Marvin (Mickey) Edwards of Oklahoma, 1982-1984; chair, Oklahoma state Republican party, 1985-1989; member of the Oklahoma state senate, 1988-1991; Oklahoma secretary of state, 1995-1999; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Eighth and to the five succeeding Congress (January 3, 2003-present).
  • He is a strong advocate for national defense, taxpayers, and small businesses. An enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, he also is a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. Representative Cole serves on the House Appropriations Committee and its Defense and Interior, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittees. He also serves on the House Budget and the House Rules committees. Widely regarded as one of the GOP's top political strategists, Representative Cole serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and is a member of the Republican Steering Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Congressional Advisory Board to the Aspen Institute. Representative Cole was awarded the Congressional Leadership award by the National Congress of American Indians in both 2007 and 2011, and was inducted in the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2004. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London. Doctoral dissertation: Cole, Thomas Jeffery. "Life and Labor in the Isle of Dogs: The Origins and Evolution of an East London Working-Class Community, 1800-1980," Ph. D. diss., The University of Oklahoma, 1984.


  • Cole, Thomas J. 4/28/1949-
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Representative
  • Board of Regents


Smithsonian Board of Regents

Regent images can be seen at

Images of the Regent can be found at the following repositories: U.S. Congressional Pictorial Directory, 109th Congress

Regent type




Short Legal Citation

Public Law


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Regent Tenure: 01/10/2013-Present


  • Historians
  • Indians of North America


  • Chickasaw Nation
  • Oklahoma
  • Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma

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