100 Years Leading Major Government Agencies

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President Obama recently nominated Janet L. Yellen to head the Federal Reserve System. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would become the first woman to lead the 100-year-old central bank. There are hundreds of federal agencies and commissions, but among some of the major agencies in the federal government, only a few are headed by women.

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100 Years Leading Major Government Agencies

  1. 1. 100 YEARS LEADING MAJOR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES President Obama recently nominated Janet L. Yellen to head the Federal Reserve System. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would become the first woman to lead the 100-year-old central bank. There are hundreds of federal agencies and commissions, but among some of the major agencies in the federal government, only a few are headed by women. Male agency heads EXECUTIVE Female agency heads LEGISLATIVE Color denotes party Color denotes majority party EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES 1912 1916 1920 1924 Warren G. Harding Calvin Coolidge 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 John F. Kennedy Lyndon B. Johnson 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 President Woodrow Wilson Herbert Hoover Franklin D. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman Dwight D. Eisenhower Richard M. Nixon Gerald R. Ford James Carter Ronald Reagan George H.W. Bush William J. Clinton George W. Bush Barack Obama Number of Female Agency Heads Since Establishment* Department and Year Established 1 Justice, 1789 State, 1789 Treasury, 1789 3 0 Three of the last five Secretaries of State have been women (Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton). 2 1 Interior, 1849 Agriculture, 1889 Commerce, 1913 Labor, 1913 3 6 Defense, 1947 Health and Human Services, 1953 0 5 Housing and Urban Development, 1965 2 Transportation, 1967 2 1 Energy, 1977 Education, 1979 Seven women have led the Department of Labor, more than any other cabinet position. Elizabeth Dole served as the Secretary of Labor (1989-1990) and the Secretary of Transportation (1983-1987). 2 0 1 Veterans Affairs, 1987 Homeland Security, 2003 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH AGENCIES 1912 1916 1920 1924 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 Janet Napolitano resigned to head the University of California in August 2013. Jeh Johnson was nominated for Secretary in October 2013. 2012 Senate House of Representatives Number of Female Agency Heads Since Establishment* Department and Year Established Architect of the Capitol, 1793 0 Library of Congress, 1802 0 1 Government Printing Office, 1860 Copyright Office, 1897 3 Government Accountability Office, 1921 0 Congressional Budget Office, 1975 2 Two women have led the Copyright Office since 1994. Alice Rivlin was the first Director of the Congressional Budget Office. INDEPENDENT AGENCIES 1912 1916 1920 1924 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Number of Female Agency Heads Since Establishment* Department and Year Established Postal Service, 1789 0 Federal Reserve System, 1914 National Archives and Records Administration, 1934 0 0 Social Security Administration, 1946 4 General Services Administration, 1949 Small Business Administration, 1953** 2 4 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1958 Carolyn Colvin is currently serving as Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. 0 Environmental Protection Agency, 1970 If confirmed, Janet L. Yellen will head the Federal Reserve System beginning in 2014. 5 **The Small Business Administration was a cabinet-level agency under President Clinton. The agency was again elevated to the cabinet by President Obama in 2012. Sources: Wikipedia, http://go.usa.gov/WXVw, http://go.usa.gov/WXVQ, http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774721.html, http://go.usa.gov/WXpx policyviz www.policyviz.com * Acting heads of agencies are not included in this graphic. Publication date: November 2013 Author: Jonathan Schwabish (@jschwabish)

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