Senator Sheikh Rahman, a Democrat, is the first immigrant and first Asian American to serve in the Georgia State Senate. He is also the first Muslim Georgia Legislator. Elected in 2018, he represents the 5th Senate District in the heart of Gwinnett — Georgia’s most diverse county. He is the Chairman of the Gwinnett Senate Delegation. In the Senate, Sen. Rahman is the Secretary of the Urban Affairs Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Economic Development and Tourism, Government Oversight, and Special Judiciary committees.
During his first term, Sen. Rahman was appointed by the Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan to serve on the Senate Higher Education Outcome study committee and Surgical Smoke Evacuation study committee. He was also awarded the Freshman Legislator of the Year by the Democratic Legislative Caucus. In 2019, Georgia Asia Times named Sen. Rahman the 25th Most Influential Asian American in Georgia. In 2020, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgia Muslims by Islamic Speakers Bureau of Georgia.
Sen. Rahman grew up in Bangladesh, where his country was devastated by the Bangladesh Liberation War of Independence in 1971. At age 13, Sen. Rahman was kidnapped at gunpoint as a prisoner of war. In 1981, after graduating from high school, Sen. Rahman came to America to attend Central Piedmont Community College. In order to pay for his college tuition, he worked as a dishwasher making $3.35 an hour. In 1995, after a 14-year process, Sen. Rahman became a U.S. citizen and finished his undergraduate degree in Economics and Global Studies at the University of Georgia, where he also served as a Student Senator and President of the Global Studies Association. After school, Sen. Rahman worked his way up through the ranks of the restaurant industry, becoming a corporate executive at Pizza Hut, Dominos, and The Kroger Company. He then embarked on a successful career in retail convenience store and real estate, managing rental properties across Georgia.
Sen. Rahman began his political career as a student in community college when a friend invited him to work on a North Carolina gubernatorial campaign. He was inspired to run for office himself by another young man educated in Southeast Asia — Barack Obama — whom he served as an at-large Delegate in 2012. Senator Rahman is a lifetime member of the NAACP, National Action Network, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a former National Advisor to the Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL), and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia. He is a former member of the Democratic National Committee and was the first Muslim elected to the Democratic National Executive Committee. Recently, he was an unpledged Delegate to the DNC 2020 and served as the Co- Chairman of the President Joe Biden Georgia AAPI campaign.
Sen. Rahman has attended multiple seminars and conferences within the United States and around the globe. He has traveled to a couple of dozen of countries around the world and has received several awards and recognition for his work. He was a speaker at Inkwell Breakfast Series sponsored by King & Spaulding, one of the largest law firms in the world.
Sen. Rahman lives in Lawrenceville with his two children and wife of 28 years.