Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Breaking ProtocolAmerica's First Female Ambassadors, 1933-1964$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Nash

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178394

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178394.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Frances E. Willis

Frances E. Willis

Switzerland, 1953–1957, Norway, 1957–1961, and Ceylon, 1961–1964

(p.161) 7 Frances E. Willis
Breaking Protocol

Philip Nash

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter traces the career of Frances E. Willis, the first US female ambassador to have emerged from the career Foreign Service. After earning a PhD in political science, Willis became just the third woman to enter the US Foreign Service (1927) and slowly ascended through the ranks despite blatant sex discrimination. Named by Dwight D. Eisenhower ambassador to Switzerland (1953–1957, a time during which Swiss women could not yet vote) and then Norway (1957–1961), and by John F. Kennedy as ambassador to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka, 1961–1964), Willis served in the Foreign Service for thirty-seven years. While prone to micromanagement (the result of rules mastery adopted as a bureaucratic self-defense practice), Willis received high marks from superiors and host countries alike, even when called upon to promote controversial US policies.

Keywords:   Frances E. Willis, Switzerland, Norway, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Women in US Foreign Service, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .