Kathleen B Blanco

Born:December 15, 1942 (age 76)
Career:Governor of Louisiana, 2004-2008
Lieutenant governor of Louisiana, 1996-2004
Education:B.S., University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Louisiana's 54th governor, served as the first female governor of Louisiana from 2004 to 2008. Before being elected governor, Blanco represented the people of Lafayette, Louisiana, for two terms as the first woman in state legislature. She also represented Louisiana as lieutenant governor for two terms (1996 to 2004) and as the first woman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, where she served as a chairperson in 1993 and 1994.

Born December 15, 1942, in New Iberia, Louisiana, Blanco attended Mount Carmel Academy, an all-girls' high school located in New Orleans. She received her bachelor of science in business education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1964, after which she taught high school business.

Prior to her time as Louisiana governor, she also worked as a political consultant and held positions as a Louisiana state legislator, the public service commissioner and as Louisiana's lieutenant governor. As lieutenant governor, Blanco supervised the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, where she worked closely with the offices of State Parks, Museums, Libraries, Cultural Development and Tourism. She also administered the Louisiana Serve Commission and the Retirement Development Commission.

Initially, Blanco sought new sources of economic development for Louisiana, and in 2004 visited Cuba to boost trade between Cuba and Louisiana. Unfortunately, two years into Blanco's term as governor, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, leaving New Orleans in disrepair. Blanco worked with local and national governments and relief organizations to help the New Orleans community rebuild.