THE VFA PIONEER HISTORIES PROJECT
Karen Ruth Keesling
July 9, 1946 – July 4, 2012
“Meeting Catherine East and Virginia Allen was a life changing event in my career.”
Attorney. Assistant Dean of Women at the University of Kansas, 1971–72. Executive Secretary for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Secretary’s Advisory Commission on Rights and Responsibilities of Women, 1972-75. Director of Women’s programs for President Gerald Ford, 1975. Director of the White House Office of Women, 1975-77. Women’s rights analyst in the Library of Congress’s Civil Rights Division. Legislative aide of Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, 1979-81. Joined the U.S. Department of the Air Force, serving as Deputy for Equal Opportunity and Director of Equal Employment Opportunity, 1981–82; Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower Resources and Military Personnel, 1982–83; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Installations, 1983–87; and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Readiness Support, 1987–89. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower & Reserve Affairs), 1988. Joined the United States Department of Labor, serving as Acting Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division in the early 1990s. B.A. and M.A. from Arizona State University, J.D. from Georgetown University Law.
Photo. Karen Keesling, Director of Women’s programs for President Gerald Ford, 1975.
More About Karen:
- Karen’s remarks, Veteran Feminists of America event, Salute to Arizona Feminists, Phoenix AZ May 6, 2007
- Cited in Barbara Love’s book, Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, page 247
- Wikipedia page