Special Assistants to the President for Women
Office of Public Liaison


Summary Description | Biographical Information | Introduction | Series Descriptions | Container List


The collection documents Lindh's and Holm's liaison with women's groups and their advocacy within the White House on issues of special interest to women. It includes material accumulated by presidential Counsellor Anne Armstrong and Office of Women's Programs Director Karen Keesling.

20.8 linear feet (ca. 41,600 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-115)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Nancy Mirshah, March 1989
[s:\bin\findaid\lindh, patricia and holm, jeanne - files.doc]


Patricia Sullivan Lindh

1928 - Born, Toledo, Ohio

1946-50 - B.A., Trinity College

1950-55 - Secretary, personnel consultant and adoption case worker in Chicago

1956 - Teacher, Singapore American School

1957 - Instructor, Nanyang University, Singapore

1957-62 - Editor, Singapore American newspaper

1970-74 - Vice-Chairwoman, Republican Party of Louisiana

1974 - Republican National Committeewoman, Louisiana

1974 - Special Assistant to Counsellor Anne M. Armstrong, The White House

1974-76 - Special Assistant to the President, The White House

1976-77 - Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

1978-93 Vice-President and Director of Corporate Communications, Bank of America, Los Angeles

2004 - Died, San Diego, California

Jeanne Marjorie Holm

1921 - Born, Portland, Oregon

1940-42 -Silversmith and radio assembler, Portland, Oregon

1942-46 - Captain, Women's Army Corps

1946-48 - Attended Lewis and Clark College

1948-49 - Women's Army Corps

1949-75 - Officer, U.S. Air Force

1952 - Attended Air University, Maxwell AFB

1956-57 - B.A., Lewis and Clark College

1957-61 - Chief of Manpower and Management, Headquarters of Allied Air Forces in Southern Europe, Naples

1961-65 - Congressional liaison officer, Directorate of Manpower and Organization, U.S. Air Force Headquarters

1965-73 - Director, Women in the Air Force

1973-75 - Major General and Director, Air Force Personnel Council, Office of U.S.A.F. Assistant Secretary for Manpower

1975-76 - Consultant, Defense Manpower Commission

1976-77 - Special Assistant to the President for Women, The White House

1979-? - Under Secretary of the Air Force

2010 - Died, Annapolis, Maryland

Karen Ruth Keesling

1946 - Born, Wichita, Kansas

1968, 1970 - B.A., M.A., Arizona State University; Executive Director of Intercollegiate Association of Women Students

1971-72 - Assistant Dean of Women, University of Kansas; Adviser to the University of Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, Member of University Human Relations Committee, Administrative Assistant for the Affirmative Action Board

1972 - Administrative Assistant, Committee to ReElect the President

1972-74 - Administrative Staff Assistant, Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Executive Secretary of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on the Rights and Responsibilities of Women, Member Citizen's Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Advisory Committee on the Economic Role of Women

1974-76 - Deputy to Special Assistant to the President for Women, The White House

1974-75 - Director, Office of Women's Programs, The White House

1976 - Director, Office of Women's Affairs, The White House

1981-89 - United States Department of the Air Force, Deputy for Equal Opportunity and Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (1981-82); Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower Resources and Military Personnel) (1982-83); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Installations (1983-87); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Readiness Support (1987-89); Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower & Reserve Affairs)(1988-89)


The Special Assistant to the President for Women advised the President on women's issues, handled White House liaison with women's organizations and oversaw the work of the Office of Women's Programs (OWP) headed by Karen Keesling. Presidential Counsellor Anne Armstrong created the small office in the Nixon White House in February 1973 and brought it into the Ford administration. The office provided liaison between the President and women as a special interest group, encouraged recruitment of women for top-level government positions and initiated and assisted in the development of programs, policies, legislation and regulations supporting women's civil rights (see Appendix A). In addition, the office sponsored a number of meetings attended by Mrs. Ford and occasionally sent her briefings concerning women's issues.

When Counsellor Armstrong resigned in December 1974, the OWP was transferred to the Office of Public Liaison. Patricia Lindh, Armstrong's assistant, was appointed to the new position of Special Assistant to the President for Women and headed the office during the United Nations' International Women's Year, 1975. Retired Major General Jeanne Holm succeeded Lindh when she resigned in March 1976.

The Lindh/Holm collection contains material from Armstrong, Lindh, Holm and Keesling from throughout the administration. Although the leadership changed, the purpose and substance of the office remained the same with only minor differences in style.

The bulk of the collection is derived from liaison activities with over 300 women's organizations, agency women's groups and program units, advisory committees on women and women appointees. Topics include public policy, legislation and regulation of women's civil rights in the government and the economy.

One series is devoted entirely to the planning of White House meetings, some of which were attended by President or Mrs. Ford, in which women leaders exchanged views with administration officials. These were part of the "Tuesday" and "Wednesday" meeting series organized by all White House Public Liaison Office units. Several meetings generated follow-up meetings hosted by, for example, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Labor. Other meetings sought priorities for the OWP agenda and candidates for presidential appointment.

The files also contain material related to OWP outreach activities, including attendance at conventions, speeches and solicitation of organization background and printed materials.

The OWP regularly provided the President and the White House staff with advice on legislation, regulations, proclamations and executive orders. Many documents were routinely staffed to the OWP for comment and review, as were large amounts of informational material. Substantial amounts of material are present related to sex and credit discrimination, affirmative action, education and child care.

Additionally, the Office's role in overseeing national activities for International Women's Year provided interesting material related to its origin in 1972, and Armstrong's and Lindh's efforts in securing an executive order and agency funding for a National Commission to Observe International Women's Year. Files on the United Nations' International Conference in Mexico City, the U.S. delegation's role and efforts to begin a 10 year World Plan of Action also appear.

Related Materials (March 1989)
Related materials are in the files of the First Lady's Press Secretary Sheila Weidenfeld, in White House Central Files categories FG 399 (National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year), HU 2-5 (Human Rights - Women), PP 5-1 (Mrs. Ford), WE 1 (Children), WE 1-1 (Child Welfare Services), WE 3 (Family Planning), WE 7 (Social Security), in the routine files of Counsellor Anne Armstrong and First Lady's Director of Correspondence Elizabeth O'Neill, and in the unprocessed papers of Mrs. Ford and files of William J. Baroody.


Meetings File, 1974-77.  (Boxes 1-5, 2.0 linear feet)
Minutes (occasional, 1974 only), correspondence, memoranda, briefing papers, talking points, schedule proposals, draft presidential remarks and proclamations, agendas, speeches, Q's and A's, background materials, newsclips, lists, notes. Topics include proclamation ceremonies, Tuesday and Wednesday meeting in the White House and meetings with the President on subjects of interest to women.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

General Subject File, 1970-76.  (Boxes 6-16, 4.4 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, bills, regulations, transcripts, press releases and printed materials from private and government organizations. Topics include abortion, child care, ERA, sex discrimination in employment, education, social security, credit and the enforcement and legislation thereof.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder by type of material.

View container list for this series

Jeanne Holm Speeches, Apr.-Dec. 1976.  (Box 17, 0.4 linear feet)
Copies of speeches given to women's organizations.

Arranged chronologically

View container list for this series

Karen Keesling Speeches, 1974-76.  (Boxes 18-20, 1.2 linear feet)
Correspondence, speeches, schedules, printed material, notes, lists, maps, travel requests related to speeches given to women's organizations.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Administration Statements on Women's Issues, 1974-77.  (Boxes 21-22, 0.8 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, briefing papers, Q's and A's, press releases, proclamations, background and printed material. Topics include State of the Union inserts, Women's Equality Day Proclamations and Mrs. Ford's views on women's issues.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

International Women's Year Conference, Mexico City, June-July, 1975.  (Boxes 23-25, 1.2 linear feet)
Correspondence, reports, background materials, agenda items, draft resolutions and reports, statements, U.S. position book, an international bibliography, newsclips and press releases. Topics include proceedings of the Conference, U.S. resolutions, the adjacent Tribune Conference and related events.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

National Commission for International Women's Year, 1974-76.  (Boxes 26-29, 1.6 linear feet)
Correspondence and memoranda, draft executive orders, budget estimates, agendas, committee reports, papers, proposals, progress reports, background material, speeches, press releases, newsletters, printed material, lists and resumes. Topics include the goals, staffing, funding and meetings of the Commission and the U.S. Center for International Women's Year.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Women's Organizations File, 1974-76. (Boxes 30-39, 4.0 linear feet)
Correspondence, press releases, newsletters, printed material and membership lists submitted by national organizations concerning their views on women's issues and related national policy.

Arranged alphabetically by title of organization.

View container list for this series

Federal Government Reference File, 1972-76.  (Boxes 40-45, 2.4 linear feet)
Correspondence and memoranda, guidelines, reports, studies, draft proposals and resolutions, agendas, speeches, minutes, notes, newclips, newsletters and press releases, printed materials and publications. Topics include regulation of public law in the federal workplace, administration policy on women's civil rights, departmental plans and events for International Women's Year, and international conferences on issues of interest to women.

Arranged alphabetically by department.

View container list for this series

Chronological File, 1974-77. (Boxes 46-52, 2.8 linear feet)
Correspondence and memoranda, option and briefing papers, and schedule proposals from Armstrong, Lindh, Holm and Keesling. Topics include program planning, outreach activities, and the administration's view on ERA.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Meetings File

Box 2 - Meetings File

Box 3 - Meetings File

Box 4 - Meetings File

Box 5 - Meetings File

Box 6 - General Subject File

Box 7 - General Subject File

Box 8 - General Subject File

Box 9 - General Subject File

Box 10 - General Subject File

Box 11 - General Subject File

Box 12 - General Subject File

Box 13 - General Subject File

Box 14 - General Subject File

Box 15 - General Subject File.

Box 16 - General Subject File

Box 17 - Jeanne Holm Speeches

Box 18 - Karen Keesling Speeches

Box 19 - Karen Keesling Speeches

Box 20 - Karen Keesling Speeches

Box 21 - Administration Statements on Women's Issues

Box 22 - Administration Statements on Women's Issues

Box 23 - International Women's Year Conference - Mexico City

Box 24 - International Women's Year Conference - Mexico City

Box 25 - International Women's Year Conference - Mexico City

Box 26 - National Commission for International Women's Year

Box 27 - National Commission for International Women's Year

Box 28 - National Commission for International Women's Year

Box 29 - National Commission for International Women's Year

Box 30 - Women's Organizations File

Box 31 - Women's Organizations File

Box 32 - Women's Organizations File

Box 33 - Women's Organizations File

Box 34 - Women's Organizations File

Box 35 - Women's Organizations File

Box 36 - Women's Organizations File

Box 37 - Women's Organizations File

Box 38 - Women's Organizations File

Box 39 - Women's Organizations File

Box 40 - Federal Government Reference File

Box 41 - Federal Government Reference File

Box 42 - Federal Government Reference File

Box 43 - Federal Government Reference File

Box 44 - Federal Government Reference File

Box 45 - Federal Government Reference File

Box 46 - Chronological File

Box 47 - Chronological File

Box 48 - Chronological File

Box 49 - Chronological File

Box 50 - Chronological File

Box 51 - Chronological File

Box 52 - Chronological File