May grew up in Oxfordshire and attended St Hugh's College, Oxford. After graduating in 1977, she worked at the Bank of England and UK Payments Administration. She also served as a councillor for Durnsford in Merton. After two unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons, she was elected as the MP for Maidenhead in 1997. From 1999 to 2010, May held a number of roles in Shadow Cabinets. She was also Chairwoman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003. When the coalition government was formed after the 2010 general election, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, but gave up the latter role in 2012. Reappointed after the Conservative success in the 2015 general election, she became the longest-serving home secretary in over 60 years. During her tenure she pursued reform of the Police Federation, implemented a harder line on drugs policy including the banning of khat, oversaw the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the deportation of Abu Qatada, the creation of the National Crime Agency, and brought in additional restrictions on immigration. She is to date, the only woman to hold two of the Great Offices of State.