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Katherine D. Ortega: 1934—: Former Government Official, Banker, Accountant

Honored And Sought After Leaving Treasury

Ortega served as the U. S. secretary of the Treasury for six years, stepping down in 1989. For a time she returned to Ortero Savings & Loan as a consultant and has continued to work for the family owned business throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. She has also served on the board of directors for many well-known corporations starting in 1992, including the grocery chain Kroger Company and the food and animal feed firm Ralston Purina. Ortega continued to promote diversity in government after her retirement from the Treasury as well, serving as an alternative representative to the United Nations as well as on the board of advisors for Leadership American, the National Park Service, Executive Women in Government, and the American Association of Women Accountants.

Before and after her time as the U. S. treasurer, Ortega was recognized by the Hispanic community and others as a trailblazer and a role model. She has received numerous honorary degrees from universities such as Eastern New Mexico University, Kean College of New Jersey, and Villanova University. She has also been honored with the Outstanding Woman of the Year Award from the Damas de Comercio as well as the California Businesswoman's Achievement Award. Ortega felt that many of these awards show what sort of example she has been able to set for other people in her community. As she told the Boston Globe,"Ithink of myself as a role model for my people…. I hope they see me and say: 'Hey, there's hope. We can accomplish.'"



The Complete Marquis Who's Who, Marquis Who's Who, 2001.

Dictionary of Hispanic Americans, Gale Research, 1996.

Notable Hispanic American Women, Book 1, Gale Research, 1993.


Boston Globe, November, 24, 1985, p. B25

New York Times, September 13, 1983, p. B14; October 4, 1983, p. A19.

PR Newswire, April 22, 1992.

Vital Speeches of the Day, September 15, 1984, pp. 712-13.

U.S. News & Report, September 3, 1984, pp. 65-7.


"Katherine D. Ortega," Biography Resource Center, www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC (June 16, 2003).

—Adam R. Hazlett

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Grace Napolitano: 1936—: Politician to Richard (Wayne) Peck (1934-) Biography - CareerKatherine D. Ortega: 1934—: Former Government Official, Banker, Accountant Biography - Found Strengths In Banking And Accounting, Moved From Accounting To Politics, Became U.s. Secretary Of The Treasury