Anita Botti of West Tisbury was honored last month by the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Organization of Italian American Women as one of that organization’s three Women of the Year. Ms. Botti recently retired from being chief of staff and principal deputy in former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. During those four years, she worked with Secretary Clinton promoting the rights of women globally and recently completed the transition work for the Women’s Issues office for Secretary of State John Kerry. This is Ms. Botti’s third retirement from government service.
In 2006, she and her husband Paul Magid moved year-round to the Vineyard, where they had long owned a summer home. At the time, Ms. Botti had recently retired from the State Department. During her tenure, she served on President Clinton’s Interagency Council on Women and chaired the U.S. Interagency Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings. While serving in this position, she worked closely with the First Lady and Melanie Verveer, Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, to promote legislation to prevent human traifficking. Once Mrs. Clinton had become Secretary of State, Ms. Botti was asked to join the Office on Global Women’s Issues that Mrs. Clinton had created.
Ms. Botti began her career with the Department of State in 1995 in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration that brought some 100,000 refugees to this country. She also worked with the United Nations High Commissioner’s staff to develop protective guidelines and programs for unaccompanied child refugees living in refugee camps.
She began her career in public service in the Peace Corps in the 1960s when she was assigned to work in a mental hospital on St. Vincent in the British West Indies. When she returned to the United States, she continued work with the Peace Corps, working as desk officer for the Caribbean at first, then as deputy director of the Latin American Region and finally as director of management at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington. It was at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington that she met her husband, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, who by then was working as a legal advisor in the Peace Corps central office. When she was not with the State Department or the Peace Corps, Ms. Botti and her husband were rearing two children.
She embarked on her latest “retirement” by spending three weeks traveling in India. She and her husband then planned to join fellow Vineyarders Soo Whiting and Flip Harrington on a bird-watching tour in Chile.