Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole Wednesday became the first person to resign from President Bush's Cabinet, saying she wanted to turn her attention to humanitarian efforts by heading the American Red Cross.
"It is with real deep regret that I accept this resignation," Bush said at the White House as Dole stood at his side.Dole, 54, said she felt a calling to join a charitable organization.
The highest-ranking woman in the Bush administration, Dole plans to leave her post at the end of November to become president of the American Red Cross in January, Labor Department spokeswoman Dale Tate said.
Dole, who is married to Senate Republican leader Robert Dole, dismissed speculation that she may seek the Republican nomination for North Carolina governor in 1992.
"I'm on my way to the Red Cross," she told reporters. "I have no plans to run for anything."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who often worked closely with Dole because of his position as ranking Republican on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, praised Dole as an outstanding member of Bush's Cabinet.
"Elizabeth Dole was an excellent labor secretary," he said.