Madam Secretary Wiki

Elizabeth "Bess" Adams McCord is an American politician and educator who has been serving as the 46th President of the United States since 20 January 2021. She was elected President of the United States on the 3rd of November 2020. She was appointed Secretary of State by now former President Conrad Dalton after the death of her predecessor, Vincent Marsh, in early 2014. She was previously a CIA analyst and Political Science Professor at the University of Virginia. She left the CIA in protest over the agency's unethical conduct , primarily concerning their use of torture during her tenure as an analyst.


Early life[]

A fatal car crash killed Elizabeth's parents in 1983. She was not present in the car, only her brother, Will, was because she was studying while they went out. She attended Houghton Hall Boarding School with Crown Prince of Bahrain and heir-apparent to the Bahraini throne, Yousif Obaid. She was co-captain of the debate team. She then attended the University of Virginia.

She married Henry McCord in 1990. They have two daughters, Stephanie McCord and Alison McCord and a son, Jason. She also has a brother, Dr.Will Adams, who is married to Sophie Adams, and with whom he has a 5-year-old daughter, Annie; both of her parents are deceased. She speaks fluent French, German, Arabic, Farsi and "a year of Spanish - high school."


She worked for the CIA as an analyst for 20 years until she resigned from her position due to her ethical opposition to the CIA's use of torture. She then taught at the University of Virginia as a Professor (in 5:18, she says "I tried to stay far away from polisci; hower, in the Pilot she is seen discussing an assignment paper with a student for a class called Postwar Politics and the Cold War). After the death of Vincent Marsh, President Dalton asked her to step in as the new US Secretary of State. While it took some convincing, she ultimately accepted and was confirmed by the Senate.

As the Secretary of State, her first year in office was spent investigating her predecessor's (Vincent Marsh) death.

In "Tamerlane", Elizabeth is a guest at the home of Iranian Foreign Minister Zahed Javani when a coup d'état orchestrated by the late Secretary Marsh, CIA Director Andrew Munsey, and CIA analyst Juliet Humphrey, is attempted; during the attack, both Minister Javani and her personal bodyguard, DS Agent Fred Cole, were killed. In the aftermath, Elizabeth was left with some post-traumatic stress and has been seeing Russell Jackson's personal therapist, Dr. Sherman.

In "The Show Must Go On", during a communications blackout on Air Force One with both the President and the Speaker of the House on board, and with the Vice President of the United States in surgery and President pro tempore of the Senate found to be incompetent after a series of mini-strokes earlier in the year, Elizabeth is sworn in as Acting President for a number of hours, where she pardons journalist Erica James, who was imprisoned for refusing to give up her sources.

In "Better Angels", Elizabeth announces her resignation as Secretary of State and toward the end of the episode gives a speech at the McCord Family Farm in Virginia were she officially launches her presidential campaign.

During her campaign she chose Carlos Morejon as her running mate. She hoped to reconcile their differences and listen to the voice of dissent.

In "Hail to the Chief", the show picks up almost 100 days into Elizabeth's presidency. On the 100th day of her presidency she passes her first major piece of legislation, the ESI bill (Education, Science and Infrastructure bill) and signed it into law on Friday the 20th of April 2021.

In "Accountability", Senator Mark Hanson refers his investigation into the McCord Campaign to the House Judiciary Committee and President McCord's impeachment inquiry begins.

In "Carpe Diem", Elizabeth testifies before the House Judiciary Committee before being interrupted, having to navigate and ultimately avoid World War 3. She returns to the House Committee and continues to testify. After she testifies the next morning the largest protest in U.S. history broke out protesting in favor of Elizabeth, the House votes to not impeach President McCord.

In the series finale, Leaving the Station President McCord decides to launch a nationwide campaign to pass the Equal Rights amendment, a constitutional amendment granting equal rights to men and women.


Presidency of Elizabeth McCord


  • Her office was located on the 7th Floor of the State Department Building.
  • Elizabeth is most dependable on her Executive Assistant Blake Moran, who is extremely loyal to her and a very good soldier.
  • Bahraini Crown Prince Yousif Obaid was her classmate at Houghton Hall Boarding School and co-captain of the debate team. ("Chains of Command")
  • Elizebeth herself pondered her epitaph being, "She tried her best but people still got hurt." However, according to her husband Henry, her epitaph would most likely be "She liked eating popcorn at really weird times." Elizebeth was amused at the suggestion and agreed that it would be fitting. ("Unity Node")
  • Her Diplomatic Service code name is "Bluebird".
  • She stated that she will run for President of the United States, bidding to succeed President Dalton. She won election with Carlos Morejon as her running mate.
  • At the end of "Ready" she submitted her resignation to President Dalton so that she could begin her campaign. She was then replaced by Under-secretary Susan Thompson.
  • During her time as Secretary of State, Elizabeth established a good friendship with Minister Chen and Minister Avdonnin.

Behind the Scenes[]

Elizabeth McCord was portrayed by Téa Leoni in all episodes of Madam Secretary.


Political offices
Preceded by
Conrad Dalton
President of the United States
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vincent Marsh
United States Secretary of State
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ambassadors from the United States
(while at their posts)
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Ambassadors to the United States
(in order of tenure)
Preceded by
as Former President
Succeeded by

as Secretary-General of the United Nations
United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Theodore Gates
as President pro tempore of the Senate
4th in line
as Secretary of State
Succeeded by

as Secretary of the Treasury