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Biographical Details of Leadership
Contemporary Lens on Black Leadership
Historical Focus on Race
Carol Moseley Braun
In 1992, the so-called "Year of the Woman", Carol Moseley Braun was elected to the U.S. Senate. She became the country's first African American female Senator, serving the people of Illinois with a commitment to social justice and fiscal prudence until 1999.
The daughter of a police officer and a medical technician, Braun minded her parents' values for education and hard work, graduating from Chicago public schools to the University of Illinois and finally the University of Chicago School of Law. A Chicago native, Braun first held elected positions in Illinois' Cook County and the state legislature. Later, Braun served as a prosecutor in the U.S. District Attorney's office before winning her Senate seat. By challenging a Democratic incumbent, Braun earned a spot as the first female permanent member of the Senate Finance Committee, where she advocated for retirement security, education reform, and health care support.
Braun was appointed ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa by President Bill Clinton in 1999. She sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. President in 2004.
Following her time as Ambassador to New Zealand, Braun unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Chicago. Since her entrance into the private sector, she has been working as a business consultant and launched an organic fair-trade foods company called Ambassador Organics.