Dorothy Houghton


“Dorothy Houghton... never took the view that everything was better in the good old days. Always her thoughts seemed to be on the future and how to make this world a better one.”
The Des Moines Register, 1972

Dorothy Houghton was the first female president of the Electoral College Board. Especially remembered as the "club Women's club woman" for her activities as national president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, her public service covered a broad spectrum. In 1949, she was designated Iowa's most distinguished citizen. In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed her director of the Office of Refugees, Migratory and Voluntary Assistance, where she served for five years, coordinating services for 40 million refugees. In 1964, she received The University of Iowa's Distinguished Service Award, honoring her 12-year tenure on the Iowa Board of Regents. Houghton was also a strong Women's rights advocate. Born in Red Oak, Iowa in 1890, she died in 1972. Houghton was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1978.