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....

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