Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (/ˈhɪləri daɪˈæn ˈrɒdəm ˈklɪntən/; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician and diplomat who was the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, serving under President Barack Obama. She was previously a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of President Bill Clinton, she was also the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. In the 2008 election, Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham first attracted national attention in 1969 for her remarks as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College. She embarked on a career in law after receiving her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. Following a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas in 1974 and married Bill Clinton in 1975. Rodham cofounded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977 and became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978. Named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979, she was twice listed as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. As First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992 with husband Bill as Governor, she successfully led a task force to reform Arkansas's education system. During that time, she was a member of the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores and several other corporations.
In 1994, as First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. However, in 1997 and 1999, Clinton played a 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 due to the Whitewater controversy, but was never charged with wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband's administration. The state of her marriage was the subject of considerable speculation following the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.
After moving to the state of New York, Clinton was elected a U.S. Senator in 2000. That election marked the first time an American First Lady had run for public office; Clinton was also the first female senator to represent the state. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she supported the U.S. military action in Afghanistan and voted for the Iraq War Resolution. She subsequently opposed the George W. Bush administration on its conduct of the war in Iraq and on most domestic issues. Senator Clinton was reelected by a wide margin in 2006. In the 2008 presidential nomination race, Hillary Clinton won more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but narrowly lost to Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Obama went on to win the election and appoint Clinton as Secretary of State; she became the first former First Lady to serve in a president's cabinet. She was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring, including advocating the military intervention in Libya. Clinton introduced the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review process to the State Department, seeking to maximize departmental effectiveness and promote the empowerment of women worldwide, and used "smart power" as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values in the world. She became the most widely traveled Secretary of State during her time in office, and championed the use of social media in getting the U.S. message out.