Navy Admiral Michelle Howard is used to being the first to make big achievements. She can now add a popular list to her résumé. Howard made the list of the most powerful women in Washington. Howard is listed in the Washingtonian’s “National Powers” section of power players.
The first female four-star admiral in the Navy’s history, Howard is no paper-pusher—she was the first African-American woman to command a ship, and she led squadrons of elite fighters before coming to the Pentagon.
Howard graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, then went on to the Army’s Command and General Staff College where she earned her Masters in Military Arts and Sciences. She served aboard the USS Hunley and USS Lexington, where she received the secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award. That award is given to one female officer a year for leadership. She was the first black woman to command a Navy ship, the USS Rushmore. Howard now serves as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations. In July 2014, she became the first woman to become a four-star admiral.