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Iris Weinshall, Chuck Schumer’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Chuck Schumer's wife, Iris Weinshall

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is married to Iris Weinshall, a Brooklyn native who is the Chief Operating Officer of the New York Public Library.

Schumer and Weinshall have been married since 1980 and are the parents of two children, Alison and Jessica. Schumer was scheduled to give a response, along with Nancy Pelosi, to President Donald Trump’s January 8, 2019 public address on the border wall.

According to Crain’s New York, the couple “have a rule that they talk on the phone in the morning and evening the four days a week that he spends in Washington.” Often, he’s on the way to the gym, and she’s leaving work, when they talk. “He’ll call from the airport and say, ‘Is there any dinner?’ And I’ll say, ‘Nope.’ And he’ll say, ‘Okay, I’ll have a bowl of cereal, then,'” Crain’s New York reports.

Here what you need to know about Chuck Schumer’s wife:


1. Schumer Met His Wife at a Political Event When They Were Young

Iris Weinshall and Michelle Obama during President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. (Getty)

Chuck Schumer and his wife met in their 20s at a political event.

“They both attended a Mid-Bay Independent Democrats meeting in Midwood, Brooklyn,” reports Crain’s New York. “She was 21, working on a local election and had gone to the event to drum up an endorsement. He was 24 and already a state assemblyman.”

“I had waited to speak and he showed up and he came over to me and said, ‘You don’t mind if I go ahead of you, because I have to go to some other meetings,’ ” she recalled to the site. “And I said, ‘Yes, I do mind.’ But then he charmed me, so I let him do it.”

After serving New York City as Senior Vice President of the New York State Urban Development Corporation and Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, she was named the New York City Department of Transportation commissioner in 2000. Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed Weinshall to the job. She remained at the department until 2007, staying even when Michael Bloomberg became mayor.

Under her leadership, the Department of Transportation had a “bike tsar” as the city tried to increase bicycle use. Andrew Vesselinovitch got the job in 2001, but he left the job in 2006 because he didn’t like the progress (or lack thereof) under Weinshall.

Vesselinovitch told the New York Sun at the time that Weinshall shot down half of the proposals his team made and she gave community boards the power to veto lanes.


2. Weinshall’s Department Was Criticized by the NTSB After a Staten Island Ferry Crash Killed 11 People


One to One: Iris Weinshall, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities,Sheryl welcomes Iris Weinshall, CUNY's Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management. It's a long title, and a job with daunting responsibilities. How do we reconcile the needs of CUNY students, the expansion of the system with the fiscal constraints that are all too apparent. These are the issues addressed in this episode. Journalist…2011-06-02T17:33:34.000Z

Under her leadership, the DOT faced criticism for its oversight of the Staten Island Ferry after a crash on October 15, 2003 killed 11 people. A report from the National Transportation Safety Board said that the city’s lack of oversight was a factor in the accident, CBS News reported at the time.

Ellen Engleman Conners, who was the NTSB chairwoman at the time, called the crash “a wake-up call to all modes of transportation.” The NTSB also noted “the failure of the New York City Department of Transportation to implement and oversee safe, effective operating procedures.”

In November 2003, there was an investigation of Coast Guard safety records of Staten Island ferries, which found that most were caused by human error, The New York Times reported.

Despite the crash and the NTSB’s criticism, Weinshall remained at the DOT until 2007.

3. After Leaving the DOT, Weinshall Became Vice Chancellor of the City University of New York


StreetFilms-Iris Weinshall Speech MBP Event 10/12/06Excerpts from Iris Weinshall's speech at the Manhattan Borough President's event – Manhattan on the Move: A Transportation Agenda for a Growing City. Iris Weinshall is the NYC DOT Commissioner of Transportation.2006-10-18T02:21:52.000Z

Weinshall left the DOT in January 2007 so she could take a role at the City University of New York. Her role there was in Facilities Planning, Construction and Management. The job includes overseeing the planning, building and maintenance of physical structures for the university.

The New York Post reported in 2010 that the job earned her $233,730 a year. In 2014, The New York Daily News reported that Schumer’s net worth was $702,000 at the time, and the couple live in the Park Slope neighborhood. They bought their home for $157,000 in 1982.


4. Weinshall & Schumer’s Daughters are Both Harvard Graduates


Public Private Partnerships Event – Iris Weinshall (Clip 1)Iris Weinshall on the DOT's Cemusa deal2009-05-26T13:59:51.000Z

Weinshall and Schumer have two daughters, both of whom attended Harvard University, which their father also attended. Weinshall has a Maters in Public Administration from New York University and a B.A. from Brooklyn College.

Alison Schumer works in the tech industry. She interned for YouTube in 2010, and was hired by Facebook as a policy and communications associate in 2011. She was associate manager in policy and communications at Instagram from 2013 to 2015. She currently works as a public affairs manager at Airbnb.

Jessica Schumer also attended Yale, where she earned a law degree. She is chief of staff at The Robin Hood Foundation. In April 2016, she married Michael Shapiro, who worked as an economic policy adviser in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.


5. Weinshall Has Been the Chief Operating Officer at the New York Public Library Since July 2014


CityWide: NY PUBLIC LIBRARYCityWide series host Ken Fisher continues the 19th season on CUNY-TV with Iris Weinshall, the Chief Operating Officer of the New York Public Library. Weinshall, a former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, served previously as Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Management, and Construction for the City University of New York, In…2015-05-20T13:30:01.000Z

In July 2014, the New York Public Library named Weinshall its Chief Operating Officer.

“Iris is a proven leader whose distinguished and successful career in public service will help us make the Library even stronger,” NYPL President Tony Marx said in a statement.

“I am incredibly excited to join the team at The New York Public Library,” Weinshall added. “I have always respected and valued the mission of the NYPL and all it does for the people of the City of New York and beyond. I am looking forward to making an impact and to help steer this important institution.”

The COO oversees the operations at the NYPL, its budgets and $1 billion endowment.

Sen. Chuck Schumer is married to wife Iris Weinshall, the COO of the New York Public Library. They have two children. Learn more about Chuck Shumer's family.