Hillary Rodham Clinton is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker. She has served as U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator from New York, First Lady of the United States, and First Lady of Arkansas, and has also practiced and taught law, along with being an activist for women’s rights.
Following graduation from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, Clinton worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, gathering stories about the lack of schooling for children with disabilities. In 1974, she served on the committee that advised the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal. She then moved to Arkansas where she taught law, ran legal clinics for disenfranchised people, and co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families—one of the state’s first child advocacy groups.
As First Lady of Arkansas, Clinton continued practicing law and advocated for improving educational standards and health care. She chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Commission and the Rural Health Advisory Committee. As First Lady of the United States, she supported health care reform, women’s and children’s issues, arts, culture, and heritage promotion. In 1995, Hillary led the U.S. delegation to Beijing to attend the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women where she pressed for gender equality. That same year, she authored her first book—It Takes a Village. In 1997 and 1999, Clinton pushed for the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act.
In 2000, Clinton ran for and won the New York State U.S. Senate seat. Three years later, she authored her second book—Living History. In 2007, she entered the Democratic primary race for the 2008 Presidency; and though she did not win her party’s nomination, she was appointed to Secretary of State—the third woman to hold that Cabinet position. In 2016, Clinton became the Democratic party’s nominee for president, making her the first woman to win a presidential nomination by a major U.S. political party. And though she won the popular vote in the election—making history as the first woman to do so, she did not win the Electoral College and thereby did not win the presidential election.
After her presidential run, Clinton wrote her third memoir—What Happened, and launched Onward Together—a political action organization dedicated to fundraising for progressive political groups. Since January 2020, she has been the chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland.