Q: In 2014, who became the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve?
A: Janet Yellen. On October 9, 2013, Janett Yellen was officially nominated to replace Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve and made history as she took office on February 3, 2014 as the first female Chair of the Federal Reserve. Prior to her appointment as Chair, Yellen served as the Vice-chair of the Federal Reserve from 2010.
Q: Who was the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress?
A: Patsy Mink, a third generation Japanese American, represented Hawaii in the U.S. House 12 times. With her election in 1965, Mink became the first woman of color to join the ranks of Congress. In 1972, she became the first Asian American to seek the Democratic nomination for President, running as an anti-war candidate. The Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act was named after Mink.
Q: Who is the first female chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia?
A: Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. Chief Lanier hails from Tuxedo, Maryland in Prince George’s County and is a strong leader and inspiration to many. Lanier left school when she became a mother at the age of 15. She went on to pursue her GED at the University of the District of Columbia and continued her studies there and at Prince George’s Community College. Lanier has both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in management from Johns Hopkins University and holds a Master of Arts in national security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Lanier became Chief of Police in 2007 and during her tenure has seen a 53 percent reduction in homicides, ending the year of 2012 with a total not seen since 1961.
Q: Who is the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress?
A: Maryland’s own, Senator Barbara Mikulski. Senator Mikulski has served in the Senate since 1987, and before that served in the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1987. It was her re-election in 2010 that allowed her to surpass one of our earlier Women’s History Month Q&A answers, Margaret Chase Smith, as the longest-serving female senator.