Harriet C. Babbitt

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Harriet C. Babbitt
United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States
In office
1993–1997
Preceded by Luigi R. Einaudi
Succeeded by Luis J. Lauredo
First Lady of Arizona
In role
March 4, 1978 – January 6, 1987
Preceded by Maureen Bolin
Succeeded by Florence Lambert Mecham
Personal details
Born (1947-11-13) November 13, 1947 (age 69)
Charleston, West Virginia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bruce Babbitt
Children Christopher
T.J.
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Arizona State University
Profession attorney, diplomat

Harriet "Hattie" Coons Babbitt (born November 13, 1947), is an attorney and former U.S. government official, who served as United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States from 1993 to 1997, and as Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 1997 to 2001 during the Clinton Administration. In addition to her government service, she has also practiced as an attorney in both Arizona and Washington, D.C, most recently working at the law office of Jennings Strouss since July, 2006.[1] She is also Vice Chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and previously served on the organization's Board of Directors from 1988 to 1993.[2][3]

Harriet Coons was born in Charleston, West Virginia, and subsequently moved to Brownsville, Texas where she graduated from Brownsville High School in 1965. She graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Spanish in 1969, and a J.D. in 1972.[4][5] After law school she clerked for Arizona Justice Jack D. H. Hays.[6]

While a student at ASU in 1968, she married Bruce Babbitt, who served as Governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987, and as United States Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001. They have two sons, Christopher and T.J.

A train line temporarily serving the Phoenix metropolitan area was named for her. After a series of floods in 1980 damaged many bridges crossing the Salt River, traffic was in a state of gridlock. In response, a temporary commuter train line was started between the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. It used existing freight track and Amtrak trains, operating for about two weeks. The train line was named the "Hattie B." in honor of the governor and first lady's involvement. The line was soon cancelled as bridges were restored, but it was credited with creating more interest in public transit for the Phoenix area.[7]

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