The Setonian family is mourning the loss of Ellen O'Kane Tauscher '74, a trailblazer in the worlds of finance, politics and diplomacy, who died on April 29 at the age of 67.
Born in Newark and raised in nearby Harrison, Tauscher was the first in her family to attend college. She earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the University and, after graduation, entered the field of finance. At age 25 she became one of the first — and youngest — women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and later served as an officer of the American Stock Exchange.
Tauscher entered national politics by co-chairing Dianne Feinstein's first two United States Senate campaigns in 1992 and 1994. In her first race as a candidate, she narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Bill Baker in 1996 to win California's 10th Congressional district. As a Bay Area congresswoman from 1997 to 2009, she became a leader in moderate Democratic politics.
She resigned in her seventh term to serve as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control under President Barack Obama. In this capacity, she negotiated the new START treaty between the U.S. and Russia that limited missiles, missile launchers and nuclear warheads. The Senate ratified the treaty in 2010.
After leaving the Obama administration, Tauscher was a regent of the University of California, a board member of several corporations and an adviser to Elon Musk's SpaceX company. Seton Hall is proud of Tauscher's legacy as a servant leader whose ability to work across the aisle, negotiate a fair deal and make lives better for her constituents — and all Americans — will always be remembered.