Mary Ellen Withrow
Mary Ellen Withrow, 1994
Ohioan Mary Ellen Withrow has had a long and distinguished career in public service. In 1969, she became the first women elected to the Elgin Local School Board in her native Marion County, Ohio. In 1976, Withrow won election as the Marion County treasurer. Voters reelected her in 1980. Before Withrow completed her second term, Ohio voters elected her as the state's treasurer. In this capacity, Withrow excelled and became recognized as one of the best state officials in the entire United States. In 1990, City & State Newspaper selected her as the country's Most Valuable State Public Official. Leaders across the United States respected her for her fiscal responsibility. Withrow served as president of both the National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. Ohioans reelected Withrow as state treasurer in 1986 and in 1990.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Withrow, a member of the Democratic Party, as United States Treasurer. The United States Senate confirmed her unanimously, making Withrow the first person to become U.S. Treasurer who also had served in a similar capacity at both the local and state levels. She served in this position from March 4, 1994, until the end of President Clinton's term in office on January 21, 2001. While U.S. Treasurer, Withrow introduced the State Quarters Project and also authorized the issuance of the Sacagawea dollar and the redesign of the five, ten, twenty, fifty, and one hundred dollar bills.
Withrow currently serves as one of the directors of Women Executives in State Government. She also is an inductee into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.