Former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin, who just turned 87, remains a keen participant in politics. Kunin is the first and only woman to be elected governor in Vermont, serving from 1985 to 1991. She was also deputy secretary of education and ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton Administration.
Kunin continues to be actively engaged in urging women to run for office. She is founder of the Vermont chapter of Emerge, which trains and supports Democratic women candidates. She speaks and lobbies in support of issues such as death with dignity, universal pre-K and paid family leave. She is the author of four books, most recently, Coming of Age: My Journey to the 80s.
Kunin, the first Jewish woman governor in the U.S., was born in Zurich, Switzerland. Her family emigrated to the U.S. as the Nazis began to sweep across Europe. She views President Trump’s signal to white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups to “stand by” with deep concern. “This opens a Pandora’s Box that we’ve got to close as quickly as possible,” she warns. “This is not America.”
Gov. Madeleine Kunin marks her 85th birthday with an intimate new memoir, Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties. Through poetry and prose, Kunin reflects on aging, love, loss and women’s rising political power. Madeleine Kunin was the first and only woman elected governor of Vermont, serving three terms, 1984-1990. She was American ambassador to Switzerland and US deputy secretary of education, and is currently Marsh Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont. In this Vermont Conversation, Kunin discusses her coming to terms with aging, the loss of her husband, the #MeToo movement, President Donald Trump and fascism, and the importance of popular protest. (October 17, 2018 broadcast)
Gov. Madeleine Kunin, Governor of Vermont, 1984-1990
Former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin is our guest for the hour. Kunin was Vermont’s first and only female governor and the first Vt. governor to serve three terms (1985-1991). She went on to become the Deputy Secretary of Education and Ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton Administration, and is now the Marsh Professor at UVM. She reflects on what inspired her to run for governor, talks about her latest book, “The New Feminist Agenda,” and offers her insights into the challenges confronting women in work and politics, death with dignity, equal pay for women, how to break the political gridlock in Washington, and her legacy. (Kunin interview starts at 4:00 following a legislative update from VBSR policy manager Dan Barlow)