Meet Evelyn

The daughter of refugees who fled communist Hungary, Evelyn Farkas grew up in Chappaqua. She has dedicated her life to public service—strengthening America’s national security and defending democracy.

For nearly three decades, Evelyn has represented our country advancing human rights, fighting terrorism, defending democracy, and working towards nuclear non-proliferation. She has been a foreign policy leader in the Defense Department, Senate Armed Services Committee, and as a professor at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College. She ran a congressional commission focused on keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. She worked in Bosnia as a human rights officer just after their bloody war, and has advised former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her time as a U.S. Senator, former Defense Secretaries Leon Panetta, Ash Carter, and Chuck Hagel, Senator Carl Levin, and many others.

When President Obama appointed Evelyn to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, she was responsible for U.S. policy toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She began her tenure working with the fragile democracies of Eastern Europe to bolster the rule of law, but after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, things changed.

Evelyn spent countless hours in the White House Situation Room, helping develop a strategy for President Obama to defend Ukrainian democracy against Russian attacks.

By the time she left the Pentagon, Evelyn was shocked at how urgently our own democracy needed protection. She was one of the first to raise the alarm about President Trump’s corrupt ties to Russia. She was attacked by Fox News, Sean Hannity, and conservative media, but she would not be silenced.

President Trump's attacks on patriotic public servants and his actions undermine our national security and democracy. Evelyn is running for Congress to stand up to Trump’s corruption, keep our country safe from foreign interference, and keep the American Dream alive for working families here at home.

After graduating from Westchester public schools, Evelyn earned her Bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and her Master’s and Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of Franklin & Marshall College, and until recently, a Resident Senior Fellow at The German Marshall Fund and a National Security Contributor for NBC/MSNBC. She speaks fluent Hungarian and German and has studied five other languages, including Spanish and Hindi.


Evelyn with, from left to right, Peekskill mayor André Rainey
and Peekskill resident Charles Vamossy.

I’ve spent my career serving our country and defending democracy. My story starts with my parents, right here in Westchester County.

Both my parents fled communist Hungary, leaving their parents behind. My mother left with nothing but a sandwich in her pocket.

They came to America knowing little English and worked odd jobs to build a better life for themselves.

My father was hired as Director of the Briarcliff Manor Public Library and they found a home in Chappaqua they could barely afford (even with a discount for squirrels in the attic). For the next decades, my parents struggled to provide for us. My mother often put off errands when she couldn't afford to fill the car with gas, and, when it came time for college, she worked three jobs (at Westchester County Medical Center, Northern Westchester Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital) to send me to school. My parents taught me and my three siblings to buckle down, get to work, and contribute to society. Following their lead, this child of Hungarian refugees was able to earn a Ph.D. and serve the first African-American president of the United States.

My life’s mission has been to protect and defend the country that gave my family political freedom and gave me an equal opportunity to succeed. I harnessed my gratitude to this district and America serving President Obama and representing the United States Department of Defense and Congress worldwide.

After I left the Obama administration, I campaigned to help elect Secretary Clinton as our next President. When Russians interfered in that election, I was among the first to sound the alarm and urge Congress to take action. And I haven’t let up since then.

To continue defending our country and the promise of the American Dream, I’m running to represent New York’s 17th District in Congress. I’m running because:

  • I believe defending our country means protecting our environment and combating the catastrophic threat of climate change.
  • I believe defending our country means protecting our elections from foreign interference, and protecting our democracy from threats both abroad and here at home.
  • I believe defending our country means ensuring access to affordable healthcare, housing, and education—without these, there can be no American Dream.
  • I believe defending our country means creating a tax system that supports working families, and ensures that the wealthiest contribute their fair share
  • I believe defending our country means preventing domestic and international terrorism and gun violence.
  • I believe defending our country means protecting a woman’s right to choose, and equal rights for all people regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, or immigration status
  • And I believe defending our country means restoring the promise of the American Dream - the opportunity for everyone to succeed.

I chose the Statue of Liberty as the symbol of my campaign as a tribute to my parents and every other immigrant who seeks the American Dream. So many families, like my own, have sought a better life here in New York. I believe that we can rebuild the American dream if we stand together against President Trump and his Republican allies.

If you believe too, join us.

For ways to meet Evelyn in person or virtually, click here.