Donna Edna Shalala ( shə-LAY-lə; born February 14, 1941) is an American politician and academic who served in the Carter and Clinton administrations, as well as in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2019 to 2021. Shalala is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which she was awarded in 2008. Shalala earned a bachelor's degree from Western College for Women in 1962 and served in the Peace Corps. In 1970, she earned a PhD from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Shalala later worked as a professor at Baruch College and at Teachers College, Columbia University and was appointed as assistant secretary for policy development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by President Jimmy Carter. Shalala became the president of Hunter College in 1980, serving until 1988 when she became chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. From 1993 to 2001, Shalala served as the 18th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton. Shalala served as HHS secretary for all eight years of the Clinton administration, becoming the nation's longest-serving HHS secretary. She is the first Lebanese-American to serve in a Cabinet position. Shalala served as president of the University of Miami from 2001 through 2015, and also taught at the university during that period. She was president of the Clinton Foundation from 2015 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Shalala was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 27th congressional district in 2018. She served one term in the House before being defeated in the 2020 election by María Elvira Salazar in an upset.
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