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Ron Wyden has served as a U.S. Senator for Oregon since 1996. He is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus. Wyden also serves on the Committees on Finance, Budget, Intelligence, and Energy and Natural Resources. He is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wyden began college at the University of California-Santa Barbara where he won a basketball scholarship and played in Division I competition for two seasons before transferring to Stanford University where he completed his Bachelors degree with distinction. He earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974, after which he taught gerontology and co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly. He also served as the director of Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly from 1977 to 1979 and was a member of the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators during that same period. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election to the U.S. Senate.