Forecast 2013: Women In Washington

written by On December 4, 2012 in 2010-2016, Uncategorized, WIIS Blog

By Maddie Koch

Believe it or not, 2013 is just around the corner. With the 113th Congress elected, we already have an idea of which women will be taking leading roles in the U.S. government this coming year. And, of course, we’re waiting at the edge of our seats like everyone else to find out what Hillary will do next. But there are many other presidential appointments to be made, including major cabinet-level positions. Here’s where the focus is now:

You, of course!

Think you might have what it takes to work in President Obama’s second administration? Our director Jolynn Shoemaker recently talked to White House Personnel to find out how WIIS members can be of service. Check out this month’s WIIS Director’s Note for more information. (Sign up here to receive the monthly Director’s Note).

The 113th Congress

The next Congress will include 20 female senators and 81 female representatives. Even though these are both historical highs, we still have a long way to go before Congress reaches that magical 50/50. Women will also be taking leadership roles within Congress. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-R) will be House Republic Conference chairwoman, and Nancy Pelosi will remain House Minority Leader (read the Politico article for a more complete listing).

Other good news? The 113th Congress will be the “most diverse in US History.”1 A big step, but still not so good on the religion front. Check out Think Progress’s congressional diversity graphic (link below), which shows the faces of all genres of minorities who will be joining our national legislative body come January.

Related Articles:
More Women, But Not Nearly Enough (NY Times)
Women To Fill Key Leadership Positions in the 113th Congress (Women’s Policy Inc)
113th Congress Welcomes Benches Full of Women (PBS Newshour)
1113th Congress Will Be the Most Diverse in History (Think Progress)
House Committee Chairs All Men (Politico)

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

As soon as Petraeus resigned, dozens of articles speculated on who would take his place at the CIA, and many of them questioned whether it was about time to appoint a woman. Some potential appointees: Jane Harman (Woodrow Wilson Center), Dianne Feinstein (Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman), Jane Napolitano (DHS Secretary), Michele Flournoy (former Defense Undersecretary)… the list or qualified women is not a short one. Petraeus’ deputy, Michael Morrel, will be acting director until President Obama’s appointee is confirmed by the Senate.

Related Articles:
10 Reasons Women Should Head the CIA (CNN)

Secretary of State

Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton… we’re on a role! The most prominent female contender for this post is Susan Rice, current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. , although there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding her potential nomination. Samantha Power, the Irish human rights activist who has long been an Obama advisor, is also on some lists of potentials.

Related Articles:
Hillary’s Next Move (NY Times)
Susan Rice As Secretary of State? (Huffington Post)
Replacing Hillary Clinton: 5 Top Secretary of State Candidates (The Week)


And finally, leave it up to the Huffington Post to start naming potential female candidates for 2016! It seems a long way away… but this is politics. Read the article here.