Elizabeth Dole has had a remarkable public service career, serving five United States Presidents and winning 54% of the vote in November 2002 to serve the people of North Carolina in the United States Senate. As Senator, Elizabeth Dole is focused on growing the economy and creating jobs, strengthening national security and modernizing our military, improving education and making quality health care more affordable and accessible. Elizabeth Dole is committed to making North Carolina - and America - safer, stronger, healthier and more successful in the months and years ahead. She serves on the Senate Armed Services, Banking, Small Business and Aging Committees.
Elizabeth Dole has been named numerous times by the Gallup Poll as one of the world's top ten most admired women. She was the first woman to serve as the departmental head of a branch of the military, the U.S. Coast Guard, when she was Secretary of Transportation.
A native of Salisbury, North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole graduated with distinction from Duke University in 1958 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a degree from Harvard Law School in 1965 and also holds a master's degree in education and government from Harvard.
From 1969 to 1973, Elizabeth Dole served as Deputy Assistant to President Nixon for Consumer Affairs, beginning a career of dedication to public safety, for which she received the National Safety Council's Distinguished Service Award in 1989. Elizabeth Dole's resume includes six years (1973-1979) as a member of the Federal Trade Commission and two years (1981-1983) as Assistant to President Reagan for Public Liaison.
In February 1983, Elizabeth Dole joined President Reagan's Cabinet as Secretary of Transportation - the first woman to hold that position. During her four-and-a-half years at Transportation, the United States enjoyed the safest period then to date in all three major transportation areas - rail, air, and highway.
Elizabeth Dole was sworn in by President Bush as the nation's 20th Secretary of Labor in January 1989. She worked to increase safety and health in the workplace, advocated upgrading the skills of the American workforce, and played a key role in resolving the bitter 11-month Pittston Coal Strike in southwest Virginia.
Elizabeth Dole left President Bush's Cabinet in 1991 to become only the second woman since founder Clara Barton to serve as President of the American Red Cross, an organization larger than many of the Fortune 500. To demonstrate her appreciation for volunteers, the heart and soul of the American Red Cross, Elizabeth Dole volunteered her first year at the Red Cross, accepting no salary. During her tenure, 91 cents of every dollar spent went to programs and services.
Representing the American Red Cross internationally, Elizabeth Dole visited Kuwait following the Gulf War to assess Red Cross services provided to U.S. military personnel. In December 1992, she visited Red Cross relief operations in famine-stricken Somalia and Mozambique, as well as in war-torn Croatia. In August 1994, Elizabeth Dole led a humanitarian relief delegation to Rwandan refugee camps in the former Zaire.
In January 1999, Elizabeth Dole concluded her service at the Red Cross and sought the Republican presidential nomination. In her campaign for president of the United States, Elizabeth Dole became the first viable woman candidate from a major political party. She attracted thousands of first-time voters into the democratic process.
Elizabeth Dole's awards are numerous, ranging from honors for civic service and leadership in government to accolades for her charitable commitments and dedication to issues surrounding women in the workplace. In 1991, she was honored with the prestigious North Carolina Award from Governor James Martin. She was named "North Carolinian of the Year" by the North Carolina Press Association in 1994. In 2006, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce presented her its "Citizen of the Carolinas" award. In 1993, Women Executives in State Government honored Elizabeth Dole with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1998, she received the Humanitarian Award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving. That same year, Elizabeth Dole was selected for induction into the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International for her transportation, workplace, and blood safety accomplishments.
She has also received the Foreign Policy Association Medal, and the Radcliffe College Medal for her outstanding accomplishments. Elizabeth Dole was awarded the National Religious Broadcasters' 1999 Board of Directors Award. In 1995, she received Churchwoman of the Year honors by Religious Heritage of America, and in 1996 the Christian Woman of the Year Association named her Christian Woman of the Year. Elizabeth Dole was honored by the League of Women Voters as the recipient of the Leadership Award in 1994, and in 1995 she received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for Humanitarian Service.
Elizabeth Dole has received honorary doctorate degrees from over 40 colleges and universities. She served on the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1985 and Board of Overseers for Harvard University from 1990 to 1996.