Rep. Dan Frankel's Biography

During his more than 18 years as a legislator serving Pennsylvania, Rep. Dan Frankel has been an outspoken advocate for civil rights and public health. He's championed legislation to bring equality to Pennsylvania for LGBT residents for more than a decade, opposed efforts to limit women's health-care options and worked to improve our community's overall well-being through legislation supporting strong public health measures, and expanding access to health care and human services.

As Democratic Caucus chair, he is a member of the leadership team that shapes the policy direction of the House Democrats. Before being elected caucus chair, he served as Allegheny County Delegation chair.

An active community leader, Rep. Frankel is dedicated to promoting urban and environmental issues. He's honored to have participated in Pittsburgh's urban renaissance through his past service on the Urban Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau. Two of Pittsburgh's largest parks, Frick and Schenley, are located in District 23. Frankel proudly promotes all of Pittsburgh's parks and green spaces through service on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's boards of directors.

Frankel was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and returned a few years after finishing college to live and work in his home city. As chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, he initially worked with the Pennsylvania legislature as an advocate for appropriate funding for those non-profits caring for vulnerable residents, and he remains a strong advocate for those community organizations fulfilling one of government's critical roles – caring for citizens in need.

Other board service includes membership on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees and the State Employee Retirement System board. Previously, Rep. Frankel served as a commonwealth trustee for the University of Pittsburgh; past president of the Jewish Family and Children's Services board, where he remains an emeritus member; and on the boards of Magee Women's Research Institute, WQED Multimedia and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Frankel recently received an award as one of 12 male leaders promoting gender equity in Pennsylvania from the Women and Girls Foundation. Other awards include:

  • Legislator of the Year, Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
  • Special Recognition Award, Greenfield Organization
  • Citizen of the Year Award, Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
  • Stark Leadership and Levinson Community Relations Awards, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Marjorie H. Matson Award, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU

Frankel graduated from Pennington School in 1974. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science in 1978 from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. In 2000, he completed a certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Formerly an insurance executive, he served as vice president of Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton Co., and as vice president of the Frankel Co., a regional insurance brokerage firm.

Rep. Frankel was first elected to the legislature in 1998. He and his wife Debra have three children.