New York Sen. Hillary Clinton was named by President Barack Obama as his choice for secretary of state on Dec. 1, 2008. By picking his chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination to be the nation's top diplomat and his spokesman around the world, Mr. Obama created a so-called "team of rivals" -- coined by a book about President Lincoln's Cabinet. But this new partnership is not without risk. There are still questions about how the two former rivals will work together, and about conflicts of interest involving former President Clinton. Before the nomination was final, Mr. Clinton agreed to release donors to his foundation and curtail some of his international activities.
The 61-year-old former first lady has been a senator representing New York since 2001. Prior to Mr. Clinton's election in 1992, she was an attorney in private practice in Arkansas for many years. She has also been a law school professor and she worked on the impeachment inquiry staff of the House Judiciary Committee. She has an undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and a law degree from Yale University.
Clinton was confirmed by the Senate on January 21, 2009.