*Charlene Barshefsky is born in Chicago in 1950 to parents of Ukranian and Polish descent.
*Graduates from University of Wisconsin in 1972, studies political theory.
*Earns law degree from Catholic University in Washington, DC. in 1975.
*Joins Washington law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, specializes in international trade law for 18 years.
*Serves as deputy US trade representative (1993-1996) and acting USTR (1996-97).
*President Clinton calls Barshefsky a "brilliant negotiator," names her US trade representative on March 17, 1997.
*Barshefsky is married to Edward Cohen, solicitor at the Interior Department. They have two daughters.