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Oral History Project | Women of the Senate

Judy AnsleyStaff Director, Senate Committee on Armed Services; Staff, Senator John Warner (1983–2005)

Judy Ansley with John Warner (R-VA)

Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, Judy Ansley graduated from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and, in 1981, joined the professional research staff at the Congressional Research Service in the foreign affairs division. In 1983 she was offered a position as a research assistant for the majority staff of the Committee on Armed Services, chaired by Senator John Tower of Texas. For more than 20 years, Ansley worked on national defense and intelligence issues, including preparing the annual National Defense Authorization bill. With the exception of a few years in Senator John Warner’s personal office, Ansley spent her Senate career as professional committee staff, eventually earning appointment as the committee’s Republican staff director, the first woman to hold that position. Ansley recalls Congressional delegation (CODEL) trips with Senator Warner, the effect of bipartisan cooperation among senators on committee staff operations and legislation, and Senate debates over the Authorizations for the Use of Military Force for Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. She also reflects on being a national defense expert at a time when the field was dominated by men. Ansley left the Senate in 2005 to serve on President George W. Bush's National Security Council.

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Scholarly citation: "Judy Ansley, Staff Director, Senate Committee on Armed Services; Staff, Senator John Warner (1983–2005)," Oral History Interview, August 31, 2018, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.