Eliot L. Engel (born February 18, 1947) is an American politician from the U.S. state of New York who currently represents the New York State 17th Congressional District (map). The district encompasses portions of the Bronx, Westchester County, and Rockland County. It includes such neighborhoods as Riverdale, Woodlawn, Norwood and Wakefield in the Bronx, Mount Vernon and parts of Yonkers in Westchester, and the towns of Ramapo, Orangetown, and the southern half of Clarkstown in Rockland County.
Engel was born in The Bronx and he graduated from Hunter-Lehman College. He received his Masters Degree in 1973 from Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) and his Law Degree from New York Law School in 1987. Engel was elected to the New York general assembly as a Democrat in 1977. In 1988, Engel was elected to the House of Representatives, after defeating Congressman Mario Biaggi, who had been charged with racketeering in the Wedtech scandal, in the Democratic primary. (Biaggi was eventually jailed by Rudolph Giuliani and subsequently ran against and lost to Representative Engel in 1992).
Engel is a member of the House International Relations Committee as well as the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Congressman was recently elected as the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Western Hemisphere Subcommittee. He previously served on the Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities.
Congressman Engel is also a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the Democratic Study Group on Health, and the Long Island Sound Caucus. He co-chairs the Albanian Issues Caucus and is an Executive Board Member of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs.
He is a supporter of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has also been an advocate for the causes of Albanian-Americans and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. In 2003, he authored the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, which was signed into law by President Bush on December 12, 2003 . In this Law, Congress authorized penalties and restrictions on US relations with Syria for its occupation of Lebanon and for its relationship with terrorist groups.
Engel ran for re-election in 2004 and won a ninth term. Congressman Engel is married to Patricia Ennis Engel. They have three children, Julia, Jonathan and Philip.