Former White House administrator joins the 'conversation' on WPSU

University Park, Pa. — During a time when the majority of high-level government jobs were held by men, the Nixon administration launched a little-known initiative to recruit women to government, and a Penn State alumna led the effort. Barbara Franklin went on to serve as Secretary of Commerce under President George H. W. Bush. She later collaborated with Penn State’s Special Collections Library to chronicle the Nixon initiative in a series of oral histories titled “A Few Good Women.” Franklin will talk about her experiences on the next episode of “Conversations from Penn State.”

“As I look back it was more important than I thought it was at the time,” said Franklin. “I just wanted to pave the way. I wasn't thinking historically at all, none of us were. We were just trying to do this job and get as many good women who could to do these jobs, even though they'd never been held by women before.”

The show will air on the Big Ten Network at 6 and 9 p.m. on April 6. It also will air on WPSU-TV at 9 p.m. on April 8. The show also can be viewed at online.

Franklin is president and chief executive officer of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, a private investment and consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Franklin has served five U.S. presidents and chaired five of the 15 audit committees on which she served. She received the prestigious John J. McCloy award in 1992 for her outstanding contributions to audit excellence and received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in 2006.

"Conversations from Penn State" is a series hosted by veteran interviewer Patty Satalia. The program offers thoughtful, in-depth exchanges with a broad range of remarkable people. In many cases, their trailblazing work has advanced their field and drawn national and worldwide attention. For more than 20 years, Satalia has engaged dynamic individuals from all walks of life and areas of expertise. No matter the guest, she approaches each conversation with the same dedication to research and with a passion for helping people share their stories and insights with the world.

WPSU serves central Pennsylvania with programming, educational services and community outreach. Its public media services produce, acquire and distribute programs that address local interests and reflect the diverse cultural, political, geographic and demographic characteristics of an audience within central Pennsylvania.

Media Contacts: 

Michelle Tortorella

Last Updated April 05, 2010