Federal Executive

Current and historical fact sheets, graphics, research reports, and other information about women serving in office.

Vice President

Vice President Kamala Harris smiles in black suit jacket and white top with black dots

Kamala Harris (D)
Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold the office of Vice President on January 20, 2021. She is also the first woman of color, the first Black person, and the first South Asian person elected to this office. Previously, Vice President Harris served in the U.S. Senate as well as California’s Attorney General.

Facts

Women in Presidential Cabinets (PDF)
Fact sheet that provides information on current and past women presidential cabinet and cabinet-level officials, including historical milestones, counts by presidential administration, total counts by position, and biographical information.

High-Level Presidential Appointments in the Biden-Harris Administration
List of women currently in cabinet or cabinet-level positions and women currently serving in high-level staff positions in the Executive Office of the President.

Women Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates
Fact sheet on all women who have run for U.S. president and vice president.

Aiming High: Women Pursuing the Presidency
A Google Cultural Institute exhibit, curated by CAWP, conveying the history of American women seeking the nation's highest office in images and video. 

Research







  • Reaching Higher: Black Women in American Politics 2021



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    This report from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the status of Black women in American politics as of September 2021. 

    Report
    Research
    Women of Color in Politics
    Federal Executive
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local






  • Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 4th Edition



    Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Loyola Marymount University
    Cambridge University Press, 2018 Fourth Edition, 319 pages 

    The fourth edition of Gender and Elections highlights the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2012 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Women of Color in Politics
    Women Voters and the Gender Gap
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
    Federal Executive






  • Finding Gender in Election 2016: Highlights



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.
    Published by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

    Highlights from the report about Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. With the help of expert scholars and practitioners, PGW worked for 21 months to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in campaigns for the nation’s highest executive office. 

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • Finding Gender in Election 2016



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.
    Published by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

    In April 2015, BLFF and CAWP launched Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. With the help of expert scholars and practitioners, PGW worked for 21 months to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in campaigns for the nation’s highest executive office. This report outlines key ways in which gender was at play in the presidential election.

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • Cracking the ‘Highest, Hardest Glass Ceiling’: Women as Presidential and Vice Presidential Contenders



    by Kelly Dittmar and Susan J. Carroll
    Book chapter in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (3rd Ed.), eds. Susan J. Carroll and Richard L. Fox. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2013

    This chapter focuses on the history and treatment of women as presidential and vice-presidential candidates.  It begins with an overview of the pioneering women who have dared to step forward as presidential or vice-presidential candidates throughout American history.  It then turns to the 2008 campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, analyzing the ways that gender stereotypes influenced the strategies they employed, the media’s coverage of their campaigns, and public reactions to their candidacies. It also examines Michele Bachmann’s 2012 primary campaign, asking whether the pioneering candidacies of Clinton and Palin altered the path

    Book Chapter
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 2nd Edition



    Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
    Cambridge University Press, 2009 Second Edition, 314 pages 

    The 2nd edition of this textbook describes the role of gender in the American electoral process through the 2008 elections. Tailored for courses on women and politics, elections, and gender politics, it strikes a balance between highlighting the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2008 elections and providing a deeper analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape electoral politics in the United States.  Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, the participation of African American women

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Women of Color in Politics
    Women Voters and the Gender Gap
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
    Federal Executive






  • The 2008 Candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin: Cracking the ‘Highest, Hardest Glass Ceiling’



    by Susan J. Carroll and Kelly Dittmar
    Book chapter in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (2nd Edition), Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
    Cambridge University Press, 2009

    This chapter examines the ways that various gender stereotypes influenced the strategies employed by the 2008 campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, the media’s coverage of their campaigns, and public reactions to the candidates.  It begins with a brief historical review of women’s efforts to run for president and vice president, focusing largely on major party candidates.  It then provides short overviews of the backgrounds and accomplishments of both Clinton and Palin before turning its attention to several major gender stereotypes and the ways these stereotypes affected their campaigns.

    Book Chapter
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • “Reflections on Gender and Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign: The Good, the Bad, and the Misogynic



    by Susan J. Carroll
    Politics & Gender 2009, Volume 5 (March)

    Reflecting on the 2008 presidential election, Carroll examines the role that gender stereotypes seem to have played in key decisions made by the Clinton campaign, as well as the power and sexism that the media exhibited in their coverage of the Democratic race. 

    Article
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • She's the Candidate! A Woman for President



    by Ruth B. Mandel
    Book chapter in Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change, Eds. Barbara Kellerman and Deborah L. Rhode 
    Jossey-Bass J-B Warren Bennis Series, 2007

    Women and Leadership brings together in one comprehensive volume preeminent scholars from a range of disciplines to address the challenges involving women and leadership. The experts explore when and how women exercise power and what stands in their way, including current thinking on the perils of stereotypes, the importance of leadership style, gender differences in the decision to seek leadership roles, lessons from women leaders, “opt out” patterns and the need for flexible career paths, global inequalities and initiatives, and strategies that get women to the top. Order the book.

    Book Chapter
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 1st Edition



    Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
    Cambridge University Press, 2005 First Edition, 240 pages 

    Gender and Elections offers a systematic, lively, multi-faceted account of the role of gender in the electoral process through the 2004 elections. This volume strikes a balance between highlighting the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2004 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Women of Color in Politics
    Women Voters and the Gender Gap
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
    Federal Executive