Senator Dianne Hesselbein possesses a rich background of public service beginning with her 2005 election to the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education. In 2008 she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors and served 3 terms. During her three terms on the Dane County Board, she served on many important committees and organizations: Chairperson of the Budget Committee, Sergeant-at-arms, Public Protection and Judiciary Committee, Economic Development Committee, University Extension Committee, Youth in Governance Study Committee; member of the Cultural Affairs Commission, the Immigration Task Force, and the Greater Madison Visitor and Convention Bureau Board of Directors.
Senator Hesselbein also enjoys her community participation in the VFW Women’s Auxiliary, and the Girl Scouts of America where she serves as a local troop leader. An avid supporter of conservation and environmental efforts, she is a Friend of the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.
Born and raised in Dane County, Senator Hesselbein attended LaFollette High School, graduated from the UW-Oshkosh, and completed a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies at Edgewood College. She and her husband Bob, a retired airline pilot and retired member of the Wisconsin National Guard, and their children – Will, Annika and Katie – live in Middleton.
Elected to the State Assembly in 2012, Senator Hesselbein served five terms representing the 79th Assembly District. From 2017 to 2022, she served as the Assistant Democratic Leader where she guided the Democratic Caucus in areas of communication, floor procedures, and mentorship. As Assistant Leader, Hesselbein was the highest ranking woman in the State Assembly and was selected twice by her colleagues to continue in the role.
Senator Hesselbein was elected to the State Senate in 2022 and served as the Senate Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair for 2023. In December 2023 she was selected by her peers to serve as the Senate Democratic Leader, the highest position in the Senate Democratic Caucus.