National Affairs: Career Woman

The minister left last night. I have assumed charge. Willis.

When that laconic message crossed his desk in 1932, Secretary of State Henry Stimson asked: Who is Willis? A look at the files revealed that Willis was Frances E. (for Elizabeth) Willis, 33, third secretary in the U.S. legation in Stockholm. In the absence of the minister and his top subordinates, Frances Willis had become the first woman ever to represent the U.S. abroad as a chief of mission, even an acting chief of mission.

Last week Frances Willis hove in sight of the foreign-service officer's lifetime goal: a mission of one's own....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!