Madeleine Kunin

Born:September 28, 1933 (age 86)
Career:U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, 1996-1999
U.S. deputy secretary of education, 1993-1996
Governor of Vermont, 1985-1991
Lieutenant governor of Vermont, 1979-1983
Vermont General Assembly, 1973-1979
Education:B.A., University of Massachusetts
M.A., Columbia University
M.A., University of Vermont

Madeleine Kunin is the first and only woman to have served as governor of Vermont, serving from 1985-1991.

Kunin was born on September 28, 1933, in Zurich, Switzerland, and moved to the United States as a child in 1940. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Science from the Columbia School of Journalism. Before seeking elective office, she worked as a journalist and a college professor.

Prior to serving as governor, Kunin was lieutenant governor of Vermont from 1979-1983 and a member of the general assembly from 1973-1979. She also served as U.S. deputy secretary of education from 1993-1996 and as ambassador to her native Switzerland from 1996-1999.

Since leaving elective office, Kunin has been a distinguished visiting professor at both the University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College. She is also chair of the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a non-governmental organization she founded in 1991.


About Madeleine May Kunin. (n.d.). Retrieved on Feb. 27, 2020, from

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National Governors Association (n.d.). Gov. Madeleine Kunin. In Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Retrieved on Feb. 28, 2020, from