Ruth Harkin (born 1944) is the wife of United States Senator Tom Harkin and a member of the Iowa Board of Regents, the body responsible for overseeing the state's public universities. A Minnesota native, she married Senator Harkin in 1968 and has two daughters, Amy, born in 1976, and Jenny, born in 1981.
Harkin is an attorney and was one of the first women in the United States to be elected as a prosecutor when, in 1972, she was elected to the office of county attorney of Story County, Iowa. She served as a deputy counsel for the US Department of Agriculture prior to joining the Washington lobbying firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP in 1983. In 1993, President Bill Clinton named her Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Ruth Harkin left the government and became United Technologies' Senior Vice President for international affairs and government relations in April 1997, leading their Washington D.C. office. In 2002, she became a Director of ConocoPhillips.
On July 2, 2007, Harkin announced her endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President.
- "Plaza of Heroines - Ruth R. Harkin". Iowa State University.
- Creager, Ellen (January 26, 1992). "Ruth Harkin Next First Lady Likely to Represent Break With Tradition". Knight-Ridder News Service.