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The 7 Most Powerful Women in Government

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U.S. Department of State

Seven women who work for the U.S. Government made Forbes magazine's 2012 "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list. Many are very familiar faces. The annual rankings are determined by three factors: money (based on country GDP in The World Factbook), media (a composite of news hits and social media presence over the last 12 months) and impact (reach across industries and active use of power).

Below are the seven women on the list who work for the U.S. Government:

Hillary Clinton – Secretary of State – Ranking: #2

  • Age: 64
  • Residence: Washington, DC
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Wellesley College; Master of Laws, Yale University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 1

Michelle Obama – First Lady – Ranking: #7

  • Age: 48
  • Residence: Washington, DC
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Princeton University; Doctor of Jurisprudence, Harvard University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2

Janet Napolitano – Secretary, Department of Homeland Security – Ranking: #9

  • Age: 54
  • Residence: Washington, DC
  • Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Virginia; Bachelor of Arts / Science, Santa Clara University
  • Marital Status: Single

Nancy Pelosi  Minority Leader of the House of Representatives – Ranking #28

  • Age: 72
  • Residence: San Francisco, CA
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Trinity Washington University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 5

Kathleen Sebelius  Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services –  Ranking #31

  • Age: 64
  • Residence: Topeka, KS
  • Education: Master of Business Administration, University of Kansas; Bachelor of Arts / Science, Trinity Washington University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2

Margaret Hamburg  Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration – Ranking #61

  • Age: 57
  • Residence: Washington, DC
  • Education: Medical Doctor, Harvard University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2

Mary Schapiro  Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission – Ranking #65

  • Age: 57
  • Residence: Washington, DC
  • Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence, George Washington University; Bachelor of Arts / Science, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2

See the full list of the world's 100 most powerful women at Forbes.

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Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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