Elizabeth Warren’s career, from her advocacy during the financial crisis to decades as a professor

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has officially moved towards a 2020 presidential bid.

The Massachusetts Democrat announced on New Year’s Eve that she had launched an exploratory committee for a potential presidential bid, adding that she’ll make a formal announcement early next year.

Warren, 69, burst onto the national scene a decade ago during the financial crisis with calls for greater consumer protections. She quickly became one of the party's more prominent liberals even as she sometimes fought with Obama administration officials over their response to the market turmoil.

Warren's campaign is likely to revolve around the same theme she's woven into speeches and policy proposals in recent years: battling special interests, paying mind to the nexus between racial and economic inequities.

In announcing the creation of the exploratory committee, Warren contended the government had “been bought and paid for by a bunch of billionaires and giant corporations that think they get to dictate the rules that affect everyone,” calling it “corruption, pure and simple.”

Read on for a look at Warren’s storied career.

Massachusetts senator

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was first elected in 2012. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was first elected in 2012.  (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Warren was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, defeating incumbent Republican Scott Brown – becoming the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the Senate.


In the Senate, Warren sits on multiple committees, including Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs; Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Armed Services and Aging.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

After convincing then-President Barack Obama to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren was tapped to help set up the agency and to serve as an assistant to the president in 2010.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be a watchdog for the American consumer, charged with enforcing the toughest financial protections in history. I am very grateful that Elizabeth has agreed to serve in this important role of getting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau up and running and making it as effective as possible,” Obama said at the time.


She also chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Law professor

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., spent more than 30 years as a professor. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., spent more than 30 years as a professor.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Warren spent more than three decades as a law professor, focusing on bankruptcy, contracts and commercial law, according to her Senate biography. She’s been the recipient of the Lelia J. Robinson Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts and the Sacks-Freund Award for teaching from Harvard.

Aside from Harvard Law School, Warren has held positions at the University of Michigan, the University of Texas School of Law and the University of Houston Law Center.

Fox News' Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.