Katherine Brownell Oettinger, Children’s Bureau Chief 1967
Katherine Brownell Oetinger, M.S.S. 1925, became chief of the Children’s Bureau, an undersecretary in the federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1957 during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration. She credited her interest in the government, and her opinion that it was “the greatest thing in the world,” to her professor and Director of the School for Social Work Everett Kimball.
The New York Times heralded her appointment in full gendered glory.
Katherine Brownell Oettinger is being heralded as something different in a chief of the Children’s Bureau. It isn’t merely that [she] is a mother, whereas all the former bureau heads have been spinsters. It’s the dashing way she dresses.”