Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, First Ladies' greater involvement in presidential administration initiatives has allowed the role to evolve to be more influential in making social change in our country. Their desire to choose a cause to advocate during their time in the White House is due in large part to either personal connections or leadership goals that are assumed with a specific social or political cause.

The purpose of this study was to examined how two First Ladies, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Rodham Clinton, have developed, promoted and advanced social change for our nation's children and families to achieve measurable change. This study used documentary research to analyze their work and determine the leadership characteristics displayed by these two First Ladies of the United States. In addition, the analysis has included how Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton's backgrounds and upbringings, which provided a foundation for their leadership, are significantly related to their personal backgrounds, experiences and value judgments. These First Ladies have used their positions and leadership styles to assist in moving

political agendas forward by highlighting specific social awareness or pushing personal political agendas. The impact of these First Ladies on children and educational issues and policy is not just an extension of the Presidents' agendas but is also derived from the First Ladies' own systems of value judgments, personal experiences, and career goals. This is an historical analysis completed by using the Bernard Bass' Transformational Leadership Theory as a lens to view the various characteristics exhibited by the selected First Ladies. The findings of the research have then be applied to educational administration generally and used to make recommendations for women administrators specifically.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.