Hillary Rodham Clinton

Honorary Founding Chair

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Honorary Founding Chair of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. From January 2009 to February 2013, she served as Secretary of State of the United States. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton launched the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University on December 19, 2011 at which time she also announced the creation of the Institute. A lifelong advocate of women and girls’ empowerment, Secretary Clinton has devoted most of her life to public service.

Hillary Clinton

Secretary Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947 to Dorothy Rodham and the late Hugh Rodham. She attended local public schools before graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, where she met Bill Clinton. In 1974, Secretary Clinton moved to Arkansas, a year later then married Bill Clinton and became a successful attorney while also raising their daughter, Chelsea. She was an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, and after working to strengthen the local legal aid office, she was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to serve on the board of the Legal Services Corporation, which she later chaired.

During her 12 years as First Lady of the State of Arkansas, she was Chairwoman of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, and the Children's Defense Fund.

In 1992, Governor Clinton was elected President of the United States, and as First Lady, Hillary Clinton became an advocate of health care reform and worked on many issues relating to children and families. Supported by the Institute’s Executive Director and her then Chief of Staff, Melanne Verveer, Mrs. Clinton led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and provide health care to millions of children through the Children's Health Insurance Program. She also traveled to more than 80 countries as a representative of the United States, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy and civil society. In 1995, at the Fourth World Conference Women, Mrs. Clinton delivered a seminal speech in which she declared, "human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights.” In doing so, she inspired women worldwide and helped galvanize a global movement for women’s rights.

With Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary Clinton worked to launch the government’s Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. Today, Vital Voices is a non-governmental organization that continues to train and organize women leaders across the globe.

In 2000, Hillary Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate, and the first woman elected statewide in New York. In the Senate, she served on the Armed Services Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Budget Committee and the Select Committee on Aging. She was also a Commissioner on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

HRC NY

HRC and Obama

In 2006, Senator Clinton won reelection to the Senate, and in 2007 she began her historic campaign for President. In 2008, she campaigned for the election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and in November, she was nominated by President-elect Obama to be Secretary of State.

Secretary Clinton is the author of best-selling books, including her memoir, Living History, and her groundbreaking book on children, It Takes A Village.

Speeches by Secretary Clinton on women, peace and security:

“Women’s Rights are Human Rights” – Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995

Launch of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security – Georgetown University, 2011

“In Pursuit of Peace” Keynote Address – International Crisis Group Award Dinner, New York, 2011

Remarks at Women in the World Summit – Lincoln Center, New York, 2012

Keynote Address at Women in the World Summit – Lincoln Center, New York, 2013