Women in the Foreign Service

Notable firsts:

  • Lucile Atcherson was the first woman in the Foreign Service. She passed the Diplomatic Service examination in 1922 with the third-highest score, and was appointed a secretary in the Diplomatic Service on December 5, 1922. She was assigned as Third Secretary of the Legation in Berne, Switzerland, on April 11, 1925. She resigned on September 19, 1927, in order to get married.
  • Pattie H. Field was the first woman to enter the Foreign Service after passage of the Rogers Act. She was sworn in on April 20, 1925, served as a Vice Consul at Amsterdam, and resigned on June 27, 1929, to accept a job with the National Broadcasting Company.
  • Ruth Bryan Owen was the first woman to be chief of a U.S. diplomatic mission.
  • Helen Eugenie Moore Anderson was the first woman to hold the rank of Ambassador.
  • Frances E. Willis was the first female Foreign Service Officer to become an Ambassador.
  • Barbara M. Watson was the first woman to become an Assistant Secretary of State.
  • Lucy Wilson Benson was the first woman to become Under Secretary of State.