Jane Swift, 1965

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Woman Category: Politics & LeadersWoman Tags: Governor and Greater Boston Women

  • HerStory

    The first female governor of Massachusetts and the youngest female Governor in US history.

    Jane Swift is Massachusettsian from birth. Her interest in politics was inspired by her father, who ran the family business and was a member of the Republican Party. Swift earned her degree in American Studies from Trinity College, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and played on the women’s rugby team. At 25, she was elected to the Massachusetts Senate, the youngest woman in history to serve in this position. During her term, she promoted the 1993 Education Reform Act.
    At the age of 31, Swift ran as the Republican nominee for United States Congress, but she lost to the Democratic nominee by only 4 points. In 1998, when she was 33 years old, she was elected as the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. She was pregnant with her first child during the campaign and had to deal with criticism for her choices as a working mother.
    In 2001, Swift became Governor of Massachusetts after Governor Paul Cellucci resigned to become US Ambassador. At the age of 36, Swift became the youngest female Governor in U.S. history. At the time, she was pregnant with twins and became the first U.S Governor to give birth while in office. Though she was on maternity leave and had to be on bed rest, she remained active as an executive authority, chairing meetings by teleconference.
    She managed the crisis in Massachusetts during the 9/11 events, when two of the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center departed from Logan airport. In 2002 she tried to reelect but decided to leave the race. Since then, Swift focuses on education technology as well as empowering women and girls in the US and abroad.

    “If you work hard, with passion, and keep showing up, people will remember you”

    “If you work hard, with passion, and keep showing up, people will remember you”


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • When Swift ran for governor in the 2002 election, she appointed Patrick Guerriero as her running mate – the first openly gay candidate for lieutenant governor.
    • In 2008; Swift completed the Boston Marathon.
  • More About Her Legacy

    * Six honorary doctorates

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  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • (MA) Gov. Jane Swift interview (Center on the American Governor) 6.8.2012

    For more information please visit: http://governors.rutgers.edu/

    This video is for the Center on the American Governor
    at the Eagleton Institute of Politics (Rutgers University).

    Massachusetts Governor Jane M. Swift
    interviewed by John Weingart
    6.8.2012 at the Eagleton Institute of Politics
    Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

    All content ©2012 Eagleton Institute of Politics/Rutgers University

  • Swift in 2011. Photo credit - Wikipedia.

  • Citations and Additional References:
    Women's Media Center website.
    Wikipedia page.