Smithies in Politics

The March into the National Women's Conference. © 1978 Diana Mara Henry /

The March into the National Women's Conference, 1977. Photo © Diana Mara Henry / Used with permission.

Regardless of what happens on November 4th, 2008 will be remembered as the year that women made their impact on the presidential race. And while the University of Idaho and Wellesley can claim Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, respectively, the first woman president is yet to come. Which means there’s still a chance she’ll be from Smith!

In that vein, this month we’re celebrating Smithies in politics—and boy are there a lot of them! So here’s a list of Smithies who shape(d) politics, be it by holding office or by holding strong:

  • Anne Clark Martindell ’36 & ’02, NJ Democrat & Ambassador to New Zealand
  • Betty Friedan ’42, feminist
  • Nancy Reagan ’43, Former First Lady
  • Barbara Bush (dropped out in 1946), Former First Lady
  • Leanna Brown ’56, first Republican woman elected to New Jersey Senate
  • Gloria Steinem ’56, feminist
  • Ricky Silberman ’58, conservative activist
  • Carolyn Dineen King ’59, Judge for US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Sally Katzen ’64, served in Clinton administration
  • Pamela P. Resor ’64, Massachusetts state senator
  • Jane Harman ’66, Californian Congresswoman
  • Molly Ivins ’66, columnist & author
  • Niki Tsongas ’68, Massachusetts Congresswoman
  • Emily Couric ’69?, Virginia Democratic State Senator
  • April H. Foley ’69, US Ambassador to Hungary
  • Catharine Alice MacKinnon ’69, lawyer & activist
  • Laura D’Andrea Tyson ’69, economic adviser to Barack Obama
  • Julie Nixon Eisenhower ’70, daughter of Nixon and a Republican supporting Obama
  • Merrie Spaeth ’70, active Republican
  • Annabell Clinton Imber ’71, Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court
  • Nancy LeaMond ’72, served as Asst. US Trade Rep. for Congressional Affairs
  • Celinda Lake ’75, Democratic strategist & pollster
  • Yolanda King ’76, activist
  • María Eugenia Estenssoro ’79, Argentinian Senator from Buenos Aries
  • Marcia A. Karrow ’81, New Jersey Assemblywoman
  • Tammy Baldwin ’84, Wisconsin Congresswoman
  • Shehrbano “Sherry” Rehman ’85, Pakistani politician
  • Julianna Smoot ’89, finance director for Barack Obama
  • Stephanie Cutter ’90, Michelle Obama’s chief of staff
  • Shoshana O’Keefe ’00, Nevada Campaign for Change Field Organizer
  • Lauren Wolfe ’05, President of the College Democrats of America & superdelegate

Source: Wikipedia, general Googling, & the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

3 Responses to “Smithies in Politics”

  1. Hi there! During a google search, I found this photograph of mine used without permission, that I can recall…I would be grateful to have this message forwarded to the editor so we can chat about how this came to be, and what we can do in future so that you can use my photographs by permission. Very best regards,
    Diana Mara Henry 413-736-6414

  2. 2 Sarah

    Hi Diana– I’ll be in touch with your shortly.

  3. Diana: Thank you so much for your permission to use this picture! We’ve updated the post so the image points to your site.

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