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A young Elizabeth Dole with her hands folded, an older Elizabeth Dole speaking at a podium, Elizabeth Dole pointing to a food container, wearing an American Red Cross shirt

Career Summary

Elizabeth Hanford Dole

Senator Elizabeth Dole served in five presidential administrations, including as President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Transportation and President George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor, which makes her the first woman to serve in two different cabinet positions of two different presidents. She was the president of the American Red Cross, U.S. Senator for North Carolina, and in 2012, founded the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, which is dedicated to military caregivers. Dole’s public service spans the latter part of the 20th century, into the 21st century. Her archives will be a key resource across subjects and academic disciplines, including history, government, politics, consumer affairs, and safety.


Department of Health, Education and Welfare



White House Office of Consumer Affairs


Promoted to Deputy Director

February 1971-December 1973


U.S. Federal Trade Commission


December 4, 1973-February 9, 1979


U.S. Department of Transportation

Secretary of Transportation

February 7, 1983-October 1, 1987

  • First woman appointed to this role


U.S. Department of Labor

Secretary of Labor

January 30, 1989-November 1990

  • First woman to serve in two different cabinet positions of two different presidents


The American Red Cross


February 1991-January 4, 1999


U.S. Senate

North Carolina Senator

January 3, 2003-January 3, 2009 (Elected: 2002)

  • First woman to represent the state in the Senate
  • Chair, National Republican Senatorial Committee, 2005 – 2007


Presidential Runs – Not Elected

2000 Republican Presidential Primary

(withdrew early and endorsed George W. Bush)