Speaker Kraig Paulsen was first elected to the Iowa House in 2002 and serves House District 35, northern and western Linn County.
Kraig was born on September 9, 1964 in Monticello, Iowa. His father, Dr. Kenneth Paulsen, is a veterinarian. His mother, Marilyn Felker, is a retired hospital transcription manager. Kraig has one brother and two sisters, all who live in Linn County.
Paulsen attended school in the Cedar Rapids School District where he graduated in 1983 from Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. He went on to attend Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where he graduated in 1987. Kraig received his MBA in 1994 from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Minot, North Dakota. He also received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 2003.
Kraig married his high school sweetheart, Cathy, in 1985 in Cedar Rapids. They have four children, a daughter and three sons. The family are members of the New Covenant Bible Church in Cedar Rapids.
Paulsen served his country in the United States Air Force where he served as an Operations Group Senior Weapons Instructor, Maintenance Flight Commander and Squadron Director of Operations.
Kraig was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the USAF Commendation Medal, and the USAF Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. He was twice recognized as the Best Operations Crew in the USAF in his assigned weapon system, USAF Space Command Maintenance Junior Officer Manager of the Year, the Minot Air Force Base Junior Officer of the Quarter, and the Missile Wing Instructor of the Year.
Kraig is currently an attorney for CRST International, Inc in Cedar Rapids. Paulsen has also previously served as the House Judiciary Chair, the House Minority Whip for two years and the House Republican Leader.