Rep. Nancy Pelosi
US House of Representatives
California, District 8
The first female Speaker of the House was also the most effective in recent history: 420 bills passed in her four year tenure as Speaker (compare that to what's been accomplished in Congress since John Boehner got the gavel).
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.
She was the first woman to hold the office and to date, has been the highest-ranking female politician in American history.
A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi has represented California's 8th congressional district, which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco, since 1987. The district was numbered as the 5th during Pelosi's first three terms in the House.
She served as the House Minority Whip from 2002 to 2003, and was House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th and 109th Congresses. Pelosi is the first woman, the first Californian and first Italian-American to lead a major party in Congress. After the Democrats took control of the House in 2007 and increased their majority in 2009, Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House for the 110th and 111th Congresses.
On November 17, 2010, Pelosi was elected as the Democratic Leader by House Democrats and therefore the Minority Leader in the Republican-controlled House for the 112th Congress.