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The Diverse Faces of Washington's Most Influential Women--PICTURES The Diverse Faces of Washington's Most Influential Women--PICTURES

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The Next America Culture 2012 / THE NEXT AMERICA

The Diverse Faces of Washington's Most Influential Women--PICTURES

July 13, 2012

Washington is a tough town to break into--much less succeed in--and the ranks thin out when considering the number of powerful women who have risen to the top. The number gets even smaller when seeking the diverse faces among these ranks. Here are a few of the diverse women among National Journal's list of the 25 most influential women in Washington.

Mary Kay Henry is the new president of the Service Employees Internatinoal Union. Henry, who is gay, is founder of the SEIU Lavender Caucus, a gay and lesbian advocacy group within the union.(Chet Susslin)

Lisa Jackson was the first African-American and the fourth woman to be named head of the Environmental Protection Agency.(Chet Susslin)

First lady Michelle Obama is an able force in Washington even without her husband's help, launching two campaigns to help fight childhood obesity and provide support for the military and its families.(Chet Susslin)


Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is a Hispanic Republican and a staunch supporter of LGBT rights. Aside from being the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress, Ros-Lehtinen is also known for her bipartisan alliances, including one with Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif.(Richard A. Bloom)

Neera Tanden has been a force inside Washington for more than a decade, serving as a domestic-policy adviser for Hillary Rodham Clinton and leading the charge to pass the Affordable Care Act. Tanden who is president of the Center for American Progress, was born to immigrant parents from India.(Richard A. Bloom)

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