Biography

42nd-district State Rep. Sharon Shewmake is a professor of environmental economics, urban economics, and energy policy at Western Washington University in Bellingham, and a children’s book author, spouse, and mother of two young boys. She completed Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University, and continued her education at the University of California at Davis, earning her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Before moving to Washington, Sharon taught environmental economics, econometrics, labor economics, and conservation policy at UC-Davis and Vanderbilt University, and in Botswana (through the Experiment in International Living). These areas of academic focus dovetail nicely with her appointments to the House Transportation Committee and the Environment & Energy Committee, and her position as vice chair of the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources — key concerns for Whatcom County and the entire state.  She is also vice chair of the House Children, Youth, and Families One Table — a round-table that regularly brings state legislators together with advocacy and stakeholder organizations to facilitate targeted conversation about bills that are being drafted or considered by the Legislature.

Sharon is a member of Bellingham’s Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association, a union member, a faculty advisor for Western Washington University’s Women in Economics and Finance Club, and a member of Whatcom County Climate Change Impacts Committee, the Riveter’s Collective, Walk Bike Bus Bellingham, and the Washington State Adult Soccer Association.

She was elected in the fall of 2018 and took her oath of office as Whatcom’s newest representative at the state Capitol Monday, January 14, 2019.