Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Dulles, Eleanor Lansing (1895–1996)

U.S. career diplomat and sister of Cold War icons John Foster and Allen W. Dulles. Born on 1 June 1895 in Watertown, New York, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Eleanor Lansing Dulles became a rare female careerist in a State Department that was, at the time, completely dominated by men. Educated at Bryn Mawr College, Dulles earned a PhD in economics from Harvard-Radcliffe in 1926. She subsequently taught at Harvard, Bryn Mawr, and the Wharton School of Business. Following the brightest young intellectuals of her time, she moved to Washington to join President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, working on the Social Security Board (1936–1942). During World II Dulles served in the State Department's division of postwar planning, which conceptualized the Bretton Woods Conference. In May 1945 she joined the U.S. Occupation Forces for Austria as a financial attaché.

During 1946–1947, Dulles participated in early Cold War containment of the Soviet Union by resisting its economic exploitation of its Austrian occupation zone. She also helped launch the Marshall Plan in Austria. In the fall of 1948 she returned to Washington to work in the State Department's Western European Division. After President Dwight Eisenhower's 1952 election she became a special assistant in the Office of German Affairs and informally advised her brother John Foster Dulles, then secretary of state. Her programs bolstered the morale of this crucial Cold War outpost, as she directed many reconstruction projects to lower the Federal Republic of Germany's (FRG, West Germany) high unemployment rate. In 1959 she returned to Washington but failed to break through the glass ceiling to obtain further promotion in the State Department. She retired from public service in 1962 and went on to teach at Duke and Georgetown universities until 1971. Dulles died in Washington, D.C., on 30 October 1996.

Günter Bischof


Further Reading
Bischof, Günter, Anton Pelinka, and Dieter Stiefel, eds. The Marshall Plan in Austria. Contemporary Austrian Studies, Vol. 8. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2000.; Dulles, Eleanor Lansing. Chances of a Lifetime: A Memoir. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.; Dunne, Lynne K. "Joining the Boys' Club: The Diplomatic Career of Eleanor Lansing Dulles." Pp. 119–135 in Women and American Foreign Policy: Lobbyists, Critics, and Insiders, edited by Edward P. Crapol. 2nd ed. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1992.
 

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