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Women Leaders at Work by Elizabeth Ghaffari

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Debra BowenSecretary of State, California

Born October 27, 1955, in Rockford, Illinois.

Debra Bowen’s early experience challenging the status quo began in Rockford, Illinois, where she orchestrated a junior-high school protest over a school policy that barred girls from wearing pants to class (resulting in her being thrown out of her geometry class). Also, she resisted faculty censorship of the student-run newspaper.

After receiving a BA in communications from Michigan State University (1976) and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law (1979), she volunteered and practiced law in California.

Ms. Bowen served six years in the California ...

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