Madeleine May Kunin was the first woman governor of Vermont and the first woman in the U.S. to serve three terms. She was a state legislator for three terms and Lt. Governor for two terms.

She served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. department of Education and U..S Ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton administration. She is currently a Marsh professor at the University of Vermont and a commentator on Vermont Public Radio and the Huffington Post. She is the founder and board member of the Global Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), a non-governmental organization focused on climate change and civil society. She is founder and board member of Emerge Vermont, an organization that recruits and trains women to run for public office. 

She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Columbia University School of Journalism, and received an MA degree in English Literature from the University of Vermont. Kunin was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government and a Fellow at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Her most recent book, published by Green Writers Press, is Coming of Age, My Journey to the Eighties. The indie press review was a featured in Kirkus Reviews’ end-of-the-year issue for 2018.

In 2012, Kunin published The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work and Family, published by Chelsea Green. It was named a Notable Book by the New York Times. Her earlier books include: Pearls, Politics and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead, published by Chelsea Green (2008), and Living a Political Life, published by Alfred Knopf (1994).

Kunin lives in Vermont. She is the mother of four grown children and six grandchildren


Honest, wise, and always with a sense of humor . . . Madeleine Kunin takes the step of creating leadership as if women mattered, and she will inspire many more.
— Gloria Steinem