|Born:||June 14, 1935 (age 84)|
|Career:||U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, 2004-2006|
Chairman of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, 2002
Iowa Senate, 1991-2003
Vice president of Human Resources and vice president of Community Investments, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 1981-1999
Corporate personnel director, Younkers, 1975-1981
Teacher and school administrator
|Education:||B.A. and M.A., University of Iowa|
Mary E. Kramer served as U.S. ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from 2004 to 2006. Prior to serving as ambassador, Kramer served in the Iowa state Senate from 1990 to 2003. She was elected president of the Senate in 1997, becoming the first independently elected woman to fill the post.
Kramer was born June 14, 1935, in Burlington, Iowa, and grew up in Iowa City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance and a Master of Arts in lifelong learning, both from the University of Iowa. For nearly twenty years, Kramer worked as a teacher and school administrator. In 1975 she entered the corporate sector when she became the corporate personnel director for Younkers, Inc. She joined Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 1981 and during her 18 years with the company served as vice president of human resources and vice president of community investments.
Kramer has served on the board of directors for the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and was the chairman of the board for the Senate President's Forum. She was a member of the Reforming States Group of the Milbank Fund, a group dedicated to population wide health improvement. Additionally, she has served as president of the Des Moines Club, a member of the board of directors for the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Central Iowa, the Polk County Child Care Resource Center, Brenton Bank and Mercy Hospital. She is a lifetime member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), having received the society's highest national award in June of 1996. In August 2009, she was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame.
In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Kramer as chairman of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. In 2003, he nominated her to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, where she served from 2004 until her retirement in 2006.
In addition to her career in politics, business, and education, Kramer has worked as a professional piano player.
Her first book, "More Than a Walk on the Beach: Confessions of an Unlikely Diplomat," was published in 2010.