Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (/ˈhɪləri daɪˈæn ˈrɒdəm ˈklɪntən/ ; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician and former United States Secretary of State in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013; a former United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009; and, as the wife of PresidentBill Clinton, was First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. She was a leading candidate for the Democratic Party‘s nomination to the 2008 presidential electionand has announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.
A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham was the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College in 1969 and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. After a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton in 1975. She cofounded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977, she became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978, and became the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979. The National Law Journaltwice listed her as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America. During her tenure as First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, she led a task force that reformed Arkansas’s education system and sat on the board of directors of Wal-Mart and several other corporations.
As First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan of 1993, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. In 1997 and 1999, she played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her years as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public. The only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, she testified before a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy, but was never charged with wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband’s presidency. Her marriage to the president was subjected to considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal of 1998.
After moving to New York, Clinton was elected in 2000 the first female senator from the state; she is the only First Lady ever to have run for public office. Following theSeptember 11 attacks, she supported military action in Afghanistan and the Iraq Resolution, but subsequently objected to the George W. Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq war. She opposed most of Bush’s domestic policies. Clinton was re-elected to the Senate in 2006. Running in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Clinton won far more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but narrowly lost the nomination to Obama.
As Secretary of State in the Obama administration from January 2009 to February 2013, Clinton was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring and advocated the U.S. military intervention in Libya. She took responsibility for security lapses related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, which resulted in the deaths of American consulate personnel, but defended her personal actions in regard to the matter. Clinton visited more countries than any other Secretary of State. She viewed “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, by combining military power with diplomacy and American capabilities in economics, technology, and other areas. She encouraged empowerment of women everywhere and used social media to communicate the U.S. message abroad. Leaving office at the end of Obama’s first term, she authored her fifth book and undertook speaking engagements before announcing her second run for the presidency in April 2015.