Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Donna Shalala

From: United States: Florida, New York, Ohio
Fields: Education, Government and Politics
Shalala, Donna (1941- ), United States secretary of health and human services, born in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated at Western College. After graduating in 1962, she served two years in the Peace Corps in Iran, then returned to the United States to attend Syracuse University. After graduating from Syracuse in 1970, she taught political science at Bernard Baruch College in New York City, then taught politics and education at Columbia Teacher's College. In 1975 Shalala became director and treasurer of the Municipal Assistance Corporation, which helped reverse New York City's financial collapse. In 1977 she became assistant secretary for policy research and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C. At HUD she promoted women's issues, working toward the creation of battered women's shelters, mortgage credits for women, and anti-discrimination measures. Shalala served as president of Hunter College in New York City from 1980 until 1988. In 1988, when she was named chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she became the first woman to head a Big Ten school. Shalala also chaired the Children's Defense Fund, and in 1993 she was selected by President Bill Clinton (1993- ) to be secretary of health and human services. A dynamic leader, she outlined five major policy initiatives for her first year: revision of health-care financing, expansion of the Head Start program for preschool children, universal childhood immunizations, expansion of AIDS research, and welfare reform.

"Shalala, Donna" Microsoft® Encarta.
Copyright© 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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