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Constance Berry Newman, Former Assistant Secretary African Affairs

  • February 19, 2020
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Hammock Beach Resort, 200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, Florida 32137


Africa's Global Economic and Technology impacts US versus China


  • Constance Berry Newman was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother was a social worker and nurse and her father was a physician. Wanting to play a more active role in the civil rights movement, her father relocated the family to Tuskegee, Alabama. Newman attended Tuskegee Institute High School, located on the campus of the Tuskegee University. She earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and then moved to France with her husband, who was a member of the United States Air Force. Returning to the United States, Newman moved to Washington, D.C., in 1962, and despite having a law degree, the only employment she was able to obtain was as a clerk typist with the United States Interior Department. She remained at the Interior Department until 1967, working her way through the ranks serving as a personnel assistant and eventually personnel manager.
  • From 1967 until 1969, Newman worked for the Office of Economic Development working with migrant farmers and then served as Special Assistant to Elliott Richardson, who headed what is now known as the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1971, she was appointed by former President Richard Nixon to serve as director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the domestic Peace Corps. From 1973 until 1976 she served as the director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Between 1976 and 1977, Newman oversaw the consumer unit focused on Indian and elderly affairs as the assistant director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed her director of the Office of Personnel Management, and in 1992, she served as Under Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.
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