1971 – Washington, DC
Barbara Hackman Franklin served as the 29th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was the highest ranking woman in the Bush Administration. She achieved a major goal: increasing American exports with emphasis on market-opening initiatives in China, Russia, Japan and Mexico. Franklin is president and chief executive officer of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, a consulting and investment firm headquartered in Washington, DC. Previously, Secretary Franklin was president and chief executive officer of Franklin Associates. Considered an expert on corporate auditing and financial reporting practices, Ms. Franklin has held directorships at eight major U.S. corporations, including Aetna Life & Casualty, AMP Incorporated and The Dow Chemical Company. Barbara Franklin served five United States Presidents. She began in 1971 when President Nixon appointed her to direct the first program initiated by the White House to recruit women for high-level government positions. Her efforts tripled the number of women in those jobs. Other appointments included Alternate Representative and Public Delegate to the 44th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and serving as one of the first Commissioners of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Franklin was one of the first women graduates of the Harvard Business School.