Mary E. Kramer is a former Republican Iowa State Senator who served from 1990 to 2003. She was elected President of the Senate in 1997, becoming the first independently elected woman to fill the post. In 2003, Ms. Kramer was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and served from 2004 to 2006.
Ms. Kramer was born in Burlington and grew up in Iowa City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in piano performance and a Master of Arts degree in education from the University of Iowa. For almost 20 years, Ms. Kramer worked as a teacher and school administrator in Iowa. In 1975, she entered the corporate sector when she became the Corporate Personnel Director for Younkers, Inc. She joined Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 1981. During her 18 years with the company, she served as Vice President of Human Resources and Vice President of Community Investments. Ms. Kramer and her husband, Kay, have a son and daughter and four grandchildren.