Sara Gear Boyd
1940 to Today
First woman in the United States to be elected Majority Leader in both chambers of a state legislature. Secretary of the Republican National Committee, Republican National Committeewoman for Vermont from 1992-2008 and Vice Chairman of the 1996 Republican National Convention. Founder of the Vermont Opportunity Scholarship Fund and two Vermont businesses: Impeccable Interiors and Gear Country Designs.
Date of Birth1947
Date of Death06/10/2008
Sara Gear Boyd was a Republican leader in the Vermont State Legislature and secretary of the Republican National Committee. She was a graduate of the University of Vermont and taught junior high school and nursery school. Boyd was also the founder of two businesses: Impeccable Interiors in 1977 and Gear Country Designs in 1982. In 1984, Boyd entered Vermont state politics and was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives. She served as both the Minority and Majority Leader in the House before being elected to the Vermont State Senate in 1992, where she served as Assistant Majority Leader. In 1994, she became the Senate Majority Leader, making her the first woman in the United States to be elected Majority Leader in both chambers of a state legislature. She did not run for re-election in 1996. Boyd was a member of the Executive Committee of the Vermont State Republican Party and served on the Colchester Town, Chittenden County, and Vermont State Republican Committees. In 2000, Boyd was appointed to the Vermont Hearing Panel for Professional Responsibility of the Vermont Bar Association.
Boyd also played important roles in national politics. She was elected Republican National Committeewoman for Vermont in 1992 and served on the Executive, Budget, and Rules Committees. She was re-elected for this position in the years since then, but did not seek re-election in 2008. Boyd served as the Vice Chairman of the 1996 Republican National Convention, Co-chairman of the 1996 Republican Platform Committee and was a delegate to the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Conventions. In 2003, Boyd was appointed Commissioner of the White House Fellows by President George W. Bush and was elected Secretary of the Republican National Committee. She also served as the Secretary of the 2004 Republican National Convention.
In addition to serving Vermont and the United States politically, Boyd remained committed to education and community development. Boyd founded the Vermont Opportunity Scholarship Fund in 1998, which is "the first privately funded scholarship in the country offering public and private school choice to income eligible children." She was a trustee of Covenant Health Systems and the Fanny Allen Foundation. She was a former Director of the following organizations: Vermont Federal Bank, Fanny Allen Hospital, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Vermont Adult Learning, Vermont Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation, Saint Michael's College President's Advisory Council, The Senate Presidents Forum, the National Council of Insurance Legislators, and the Council of State Government: Eastern Region. Boyd served six years as Burlington Police Commissioner and was a member of the Rotary Club and the University of Vermont Alumni Council.
Boyd's first husband, Allen F. Gear, died in 1991. She was re-married in 1999 to Joseph Boyd. Sara Gear Boyd died on June 10, 2008 after a struggle with cancer. She is survived by her husband and three daughters.
Organizations or Movements
- Republican Party
- The President's Commission on White House Fellowships
- Executive Committee of the Vermont State Republican Party
- Colchester Town, Chittenden County, and Vermont State Republican Committees
- Vermont Hearing Panel for Professional Responsibility of the Vermont Bar Association
- Executive, Budget, and Rules Committees of the Republican National Party
- Vermont Opportunity Scholarship Fund
- Covenant Health Systems
- Fanny Allen Foundation
- Vermont Federal Bank
- Fletcher Allen Heath Care
- Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
- Vermont Adult Learning
- Vermont Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation
- Saint Michael's College President's Advisory Council
- Senate Presidents Forum
- National Council of Insurance Legislators
- Council of State Government
- Rotary Club
- University of Vermont Alumni Council
- Nursery School and Junior High School teacher
- Business owner - Impeccable Interiors and Gear Country Designs
- Vermont House of Representatives
- Vermont State Senate
- Burlington Police Commissioner
- Secretary of the Republican National Committee
- Secretary of the Republican National Convention
- Republican National Committeewoman for Vermont
- University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont (1963).