‘I don’t want people from the outside world calling and thinking I’m taking dictation in here’
Rep. Rosa DeLauro hugs fellow Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher J. Dodd during a 2010 event. In 1981, she joined a handful of congressional female chiefs of staff when Dodd hired her off the campaign trail. Also pictured, at left, former House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
Women have been heading up congressional offices dating back to the 1940s, but that “assistant” position looked very different from today’s chief of staff post.
The 1946 Legislative Reorganization Act created the title of administrative assistant, which evolved into chief of staff. In 1947, there were about six female administrative assistants in the Senate, according to Senate Historian Betty K. Koed.