Posted by: Audiegrl
A few blocks away inside a stately Dupont Circle mansion, India’s first female ambassador in more than 50 years, Meera Shankar, huddled with top aides after her prime minister’s state visit with President Obama.
Nearby, in a century-old residence with its own ballroom, Latin America’s only female ambassador in Washington, Colombia’s Carolina Barco, dashed back from talking up free trade on Capitol Hill to showcase her country’s culture and food.
There are 25 female ambassadors posted in Washington — the highest number ever, according to the State Department.
“This is breaking precedent,” said Selma “Lucky” Roosevelt, a former U.S. chief of protocol.
Women remain a distinct minority — there are 182 accredited ambassadors in Washington — but their rise from a cadre of five in the late 1990s to five times that is opening up what had been an elite’s men club for more than a century.
A key reason is the increase in the number of top U.S. diplomats who are women, what some call the “Hillary effect.”
“Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, who just arrived as ambassador from Mozambique. “She makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.”