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Women in Government

Janet Weir Creighton 2015 HONOREE

Commissioner, Stark County, Ohio

Janet Creighton plans to end her career in government close to where it started: Stark County, Ohio. Creighton, whose career path has taken her from the mayor’s office to the White House as a national coordinator for federal and local policy, grew up in southwestern Canton, the seat of Stark County. She was drawn to politics early on, first as a “complaint technician” -- the office today would more likely be called “public information officer” -- in 1979, and then to elected office in 1984. A Republican, Creighton had been appointed county recorder to fill a vacancy, but the party backed a male candidate when the election came around. Creighton ultimately launched a petition bid and was successful.

From there, Creighton went on to serve as auditor, followed by mayor of Canton in 2004 -- the first female in the city’s history to hold that office. In early 2008 she was tapped by President George W. Bush to serve as his deputy assistant and director of intergovernmental affairs. She later returned to the Stark County Commission, which she says will be her last post. “I’m a Canton-born woman without a college degree, and for what I’ve been able to accomplish with the help of so many people … I always try to put my best foot forward for them.”

MORE: Read about the Women in Government Leadership Program and the rest of the 2015 honorees.