CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will join seven distinguished Illinoisans to receive The Order of Lincoln, the State's highest honor for professional achievement and public service.
"Through her decades of service, Hillary Clinton has helped shape and improve the world more than almost any person in our nation’s history,” Governor Quinn said. “From working on women’s and children’s issues, to her time as First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State, she personifies the best that Illinois and the United States of America can offer. We are grateful to be able to present her with the state’s highest award and thank her for the service she continues to provide to this day to the people across the world.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton, an Illinois native, was raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. She served as First Lady of Arkansas for more than a dozen years championing causes for women, children and families. She served as First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and advocated for health care reform and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and provide health care to millions of children. She also traveled to more than 80 countries as a representative of our country, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy, civil society, and opportunities for women and girls around the world.
In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate. She worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care, including for wounded service members, veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves. After September 11, 2001, she secured resources to rebuild New York and provide health coverage for the needs of first responders who became sick during rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
In 2007 and 2008, Clinton made her historic campaign for President, winning 18 million votes, and more primaries and delegates than any woman had before.
In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world and strengthening its global leadership. Her "smart power" approach to foreign policy elevated American diplomacy and development and repositioned them for the 21st century -- with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world. As America's chief diplomat and the President's principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton spearheaded progress on many of our greatest national security challenges, from reasserting the United States as a Pacific power to imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea to responding to the challenges and opportunities of the Arab Awakening to negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. She pushed the frontiers of human rights and demonstrated that giving women the opportunity to participate fully is vital to security, stability, and prosperity.
Clinton is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School.
Clinton will receive the award on Saturday evening, May 3, 2014, at the Field Museum in Chicago as part of the 50th Annual Convocation of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Lincoln Academy is a non-partisan, independent organization which administers the award and chooses each year's honorees.
For more information about the Order of Lincoln or to view information about this year’s recipients, please visit www.thelincolnacademyofillinois.org.