Dr. Madeleine Albright takes us behind-the-scenes of her fascinating career and life in her new memoir, Madam Secretary. Her story begins with her childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, her family first fleeing Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of 11, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women’s rights. Her career would place her toe-to-toe with the most powerful world leaders of the day.
Dr. Madeleine Albright became the first woman Secretary of State, nominated by President Clinton. After being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she was sworn in as the 64th Secretary of State on January 23, 1997, becoming the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Her reputation as a straight-talk negotiator, with a personal touch, developed during her prior tenure as U.S. representative to the U.N.
As secretary, Albright’s priorities revolved around the fight against international terror, the pursuit of Middle East peace, the containment of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the promotion of democracy and human rights. Her accomplishments included NATO’s successful campaign to reverse ethnic cleansing in Kosovo; the promotion of peace in the Balkans; the expansion and modernization of NATO; the reduction of nuclear dangers in Russia; approval of legislation to assist reforming economies in sub-Saharan Africa; and the negotiation of dozens of agreements to facilitate trade and protect the rights of American business overseas.
Prior to her appointment, Albright served as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations (presenting her credentials at the UN on February 6, 1993) and as a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet and National Security Council.
Albright formerly was the president of the Center for National Policy. The center is a nonprofit research organization formed in 1981 by representatives from government, industry, labor and education. Its mandate is to promote the study and discussion of domestic and international issues.
As a research professor and director of the Women in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, and Central and Eastern European politics, and was responsible for developing and implementing programs designed to enhance women’s professional opportunities in international affairs.
From 1981 to 1982, Albright was awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian, following an international competition in which she wrote about the role of the press in political changes in Poland during the early 1980’s.
She also served as a Senior Fellow in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, conducting research in developments and trends in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
From 1978-1981, Albright was a staff member on the National Security Council, as well as a White House staff member, where she was responsible for foreign policy legislation. From 1976-1978, she served as Chief Legislative Assistant to Senator Edmund S. Muskie.
Awarded a B.A. from 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 her masters and doctorate from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government.
Fluent in French and Czech, with good speaking and reading abilities in Russian and Polish, Albright offers a written account of her political service and her private life raising three daughters, the breakup of her marriage to the scion of one of America’s leading newspaper families, and her discovery late in life of her Jewish ancestry and her grandparents death in Nazi concentration camps.
Albright will be interviewed by Richard Roth, United Nations senior correspondent for CNN. His extensive coverage for CNN has included the Beijing student uprising in Tiananmen Square, the opening of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, and most recently the fallout from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, as well as the Iraq War. He is the host of “Diplomatic License,” CNN’s global program devoted to the U.N. that airs weekends.