Hillary Clinton’s Record on Women at the State Department

I wrote an article in The Huffington Post titled “More Than Just Campaign Rhetoric: Clinton Championed Equal Representation at State Department.” You can read it here.

The article describes how Hillary Clinton hired record numbers of women at the State Department above any of her predecessors. Below is some supporting data for the analysis, which is based on information retrieved from the State Department’s Office of the Historian.

Using this information, I conducted a simple analysis of the total number of women appointed to the State Department at the Assistant Secretary, Assistant Secretary-equivalent, Under Secretary, and Deputy Secretary levels since 1969, when President Richard Nixon assumed office.

Gender Representation by Administration

Here’s a comparison of how presidential administrations since Nixon performed on appointing women to these positions:

Administration Women Appointees
Richard Nixon 1
Gerald Ford 4
Jimmy Carter 7
Ronald Reagan 6
George H.W. Bush 5
Bill Clinton 23
George W. Bush 27
Barack Obama 42

Beginning with Nixon, I counted the number of positions and the number of times each position was filled since then. In all, I looked at 48 senior positions in the Department. For a full list of the positions analyzed and names of appointees, look here.

Here’s what I found:

There were 632 appointments made into these positions since 1969, of which 113 were women. This means that only 18 percent of all senior-level appointments at the State Department since this time have been women. That’s not a great statistic.

Hillary Clinton Hired More Women Than Any Other Secretary of State Before Her

Here’s the most powerful part of this analysis:

40 of the 113 appointments – that’s 35 percent of all the female appointees ever – happened during the Obama administration. Half of those women arrived during the tenure of Secretary Clinton.


More Work to Be Done

The appointments of women in this analysis were spread out across 37 of the 48 positions, which means that nearly one-in-four of these positions have never been held by a woman.

Here is a list of the currently existing senior State Department positions in our sample that have never been filled by a woman.

Senior positions never held by women at the State Department
Deputy Secretary of State
Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations
Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security
Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs
Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources
Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation
Assistant Secretary for Political Military Affairs
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Director of the Office of Foreign Missions

I have no doubt that these positions – and others never held by a woman across the U.S. government – will be on Clinton’s mind as she crosses the finish line on November 8.

Note: The data analyzed in this post was taken exclusively from the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State website. Therefore, some appointments may be excluded depending on the frequency with which the Office of the Historian website is updated and the site’s accuracy. Additionally, the analysis does not include ambassadorships or other senior positions such as special envoys or representatives that are outside the traditional bureaucratic structure of the Department.

Read More

Why Are Women So Poorly Represented in Foreign Policy? – The Atlantic

Hillary’s Fight for Women’s Rights – She Wins We Win

Image Sources: Maggie Hallehan; State Department Flickr Page

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