Elizabeth Dole

The Power of Care

A native of Salisbury, North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole graduated with distinction from Duke University as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University.

Her resume includes six years as a member of the Federal Trade Commission, and two years as Assistant to President Reagan for Public Liaison. In 1983, she became the first woman to be appointed U.S. Secretary of Transportation, serving five years. She later served as U.S. Secretary of Labor where top priorities included workplace safety and initiatives to help youth-at-risk.

“My most rewarding times in public service career were in classrooms, listening to at-risk youth and teen mothers who were turning their lives around; in fields, meeting with migrant workers who were seeking a voice on their behalf; deep in a coal mine, meeting with miners concerned about their safety; and in far flung corners of the world, witnessing the great humanitarian power of people helping strangers at their most desperate hour,” said Dole.  

A heart of service

Elizabeth Dole was only the second woman to serve as president since Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. She totally restructured the world’s largest humanitarian organization during her eight years as president, serving as a volunteer in her first year. She led a massive transformation of the way the Red Cross collects, tests and distributes one-half of the nation’s blood supply.

A driven leader

Following the Red Cross, she sought the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first viable female candidate from 
a major political party. Elected in 2002, Senator Dole became the first woman to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate. In 2012, she founded Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation to raise awareness and support for over one million caregivers of our nation’s wounded warriors.

She has been married to her husband, Senator Bob Dole, since 1975 and resides in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.