Born in Miami Beach, Dan Gelber was raised to believe in public service and the importance of community. His father, respected former Miami Beach Mayor and Judge Seymour Gelber, and his mother, Beach High foreign-language teacher Edith Gelber, were models of that service.
Dan lived these principles through service as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade, handling public corruption prosecutions, complex economic crimes, and eventually becoming a decorated top deputy. Dan was then appointed by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn as the Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the prestigious U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations – a position previously held by Bobby Kennedy – where he worked on counter-terrorism issues and combated fraud and waste in government.
Dan returned home and served Miami Beach as a Florida State Representative and Senator, where he was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be their House Democratic Leader. While representing Miami Beach in the legislature Dan was a leading voice on strengthening public schools and improving public safety and public corruption laws. He led the battle against windstorm insurance rate hikes and was recognized as a relentless champion for LGBT rights. Today, Dan is considered one of Florida’s most respected voices on Florida public policy.
In 2017, Dan was elected Mayor of his hometown with over 82% support. He led the Commission in creating the innovative STEAM Plus program, partnering with local cultural institutions to infuse the arts directly into the school curriculum. Dan started the #PlasticFreeMB initiative and improved the City’s resilience by inviting the Urban Land Institute to review current strategies. He was also an architect of the G.O. Bonds Program approved by 70% of residents in 2018, which will enhance existing City infrastructure and fund new parks and public safety projects. Additionally, Dan has led the City on efforts to implement enhanced community policing and elevating arts and culture.
Dan has also always been devoted to helping his community, especially those who need a hand. Dan joined the Big Brothers program and was matched to 6-year old Travis, who he has stayed with for over 25 years and is now a practicing dentist. When he was just 26, Dan co-founded a summer camp for kids with cancer where volunteered for decades.
Dan practices law with the firm of Gelber Schachter & Greenberg PA in Miami and is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers. Dan is married to Joan Silverstein, a career federal prosecutor, and they have three kids and a dog named Buddy they are still trying to train (the dog not the kids).
Dan graduated from Tufts University magna cum laude and the University of Florida Law School where he was a national Truman Scholar.