Albright for Commencement

Madam Secretary: speaking at graduation

Madam Secretary: speaking at graduation


Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will deliver the commencement address on Sunday, May 9. When sworn in on January 23, 1997, Albright became the nation's first female secretary of state. She currently is a principal in The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm that she founded in Washington.

During Albright's tenure as secretary of state, NATO intervened to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo; a stable peace was reached in the Balkans; the number of democratic nations grew in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America; U.S.-China relations improved; and the U.S. experienced a growth in trade in the Americas, in Africa through the African Growth Opportunity Act, and in other countries through the conclusion of numerous other agreements that facilitated American business overseas.

In addition to her work today with The Albright Group, Albright is the first Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the practice of diplomacy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, the first Distinguished Scholar of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School, chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, chair of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, and president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She also serves on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange.

Before her appointment as secretary of state, Albright was the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997 and a member of the National Security Council. In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation to the U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing. She also has served as president of the Center for National Policy, a nonprofit research organization formed in 1981 by representatives from government, industry, labor, and education to promote discussion of domestic and international issues.

Albright was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1937. Two years later, her family fled to England to escape Hitler's rise to power. Her family eventually made its way to the U.S. in 1950, and Albright became a U.S. citizen in 1957.

Awarded a bachelor's degree at Wellesley College with honors in political science, she studied at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, received a certificate from the Russian Institute at Columbia University, and earned her master's and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia's department of public law and government.

In her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, she provides an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the Clinton administration and its international efforts.

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