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White House

A front row seat at the nub of power.

President Carter, Jane Lakes Frank, and Dr. David Lakes (Harman's brother),
6 April 1976.

Jane Lakes Frank. "Talking Points for Chalottesville Civics Leage:" typescript speech, 27 April 1978.

In her Charlottesville speech about President Carter's revolutionary "Cabinet Government," Harman confessed that she took her job as deputy secretary to have "a front row seat at the nub of power" and "the chance - though rare - to make the difference on some policy issues."

Staff Work for the President and the Executive Branch (Washington, D.C.: White House, 1954).

United States Cabinet Meeting,
23 May 1977.

"Carter's Weekly Cabinet Ritual" National Journal 38 (17 September 1977): 1444.

From 1977 through 1978 Harman served as deputy secretary to the Cabinet in the Carter Administration. Reporting to Cabinet Secretary Jack Watson, Harman attended weekly Cabinet meetings and carried out special assignments, such as drafting nominations to the Legal Services Corporation Board. In an early memo to Watson on improving second-level staffers' access to the President, Harman noted that Carter's "inner circle lacks diversity."

Jane Frank. Memorandum to Jack Watson, 4 June 1977.

Jane Frank. Memorandum on the Legal Services Corporation Board, 21 March 1978.

Jane L. Frank. Letter of resignation to Jack Watson, 1 June 1978.

Harman resigned her position at the White House on 30 June 1978 to spend more time with her young children. Newspapers around the country ran stories of mild astonishment. Later that year, Harman and her husband, Richard Frank, divorced. Richard Frank continued as director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Wesley G. Pippert. "Deputy Cabinet Official Goes Home to Children" Sunday Republican, 25 June 1978.

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