Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Barbara Hackman Franklin (1992–1993): Secretary of Commerce

Barbara Hackman Franklin was sworn in as secretary of commerce on March 23, 1992. Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Franklin graduated from the Pennsylvania State University (1962) and was one of the first females to earn her M.B.A. at Harvard Business School (1964).

In the 1970s, she was a staff assistant to President Nixon (1971-1973) and commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (1973-1979). During her time as senior fellow and director of the government and business program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School (1979-1988), Franklin served as a member of the President's Advisory Council for Trade Policy and Negotiations (1982-1984), on the board of directors of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1979-1986), and as president and chief executive officer of Barbara Franklin Enterprises (1980-present).

She returned to government in 1989, once more as a member of the President's Advisory Council for Trade Policy and Negotiations (1989-1992) and as an alternate for the Forty-Fourth United Nations General Assembly (1989-1990), before becoming secretary of commerce in 1992. She remains president and chief executive officer of Barbara Franklin Enterprises.