With more than 50 years of professional experience, the Hon. Diane E. Watson worked as a member of the U.S. Congress for the 33rd District of California from 2003 to 2011, having previously represented the 32nd District from 2001 to 2003. Prior to these positions, she served as the U.S. ambassador to Micronesia for the U.S. Department of State from 1998 to 2001. She previously excelled with the California State Senate as a member of District 26 from 1994 to 1998, a member of District 28 from 1982 to 1990 and a member of District 30 from 1978 to 1982. Earlier in her career, Dr. Watson held the positions of a teacher, an administrator and a school psychologist with the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1958 to 1976.
In addition to these roles, Dr. Watson was a health occupations specialist for the Bureau of Industrial Education of the California Department of Education from 1971 to 1973, and a board member of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1975 to 1978. A frequent lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, she has served as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention since 1972. Dr. Watson initially pursued an education as a student at Los Angeles City College. She later obtained a Bachelor of Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1956. She subsequently enrolled at California State University, graduating with a Master of Arts in school psychology in 1958. After accruing some experience in the field, she concluded her studies at Claremont Graduate University, earning a PhD in educational administration in 1987.
A respected voice in her industry, Dr. Watson has been active leader in her community. She is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the California Elected Women in Education and Research, and the National Organizations of Black Elected Legislators. She has also been affiliated with the United Teachers Los Angeles, the California Teachers Association, the Los Angeles Urban League, the California Association of School Psychologists and Alpha Kappa Alpha. A talented writer, Dr. Watson wrote two books, the “Planning Guide for Health Occupations” and “Health Occupations Instructional Units-Secondary Schools” in 1975, as well as co-authored “Introduction to Health Care” in 1976.
Throughout her career, Dr. Watson has been celebrated for her contributions, including recognition as Alumnus of the Year by UCLA on two occasions. Ebony Magazine further honored her among their Power 150, and she accepted both a Brotherhood Crusade Award and a Mary Church Terrell Award. A recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Watson has been featured in numerous publications, including multiple editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Politics, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in the World.