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Honorable Condoleezza Rice

First Black African- American Woman as 66th Secretary of State


The honorable Condoleezza Rice was nominated for Secretary of State by George W. Bush on November 14, 2004, and assumed office on January 26, 2005. She served for four years, leaving the position on January 20, 2009. She was the first African-American woman to serve as Secretary of State from 1993 until 1999 she served as Stanford’s Provost. NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Youth / Teens and School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, a professor of political economy in The Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of political science. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.





Condoleezza Rice was born on November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama she is the only child of John Wesley Rice, Jr., a high school guidance counselor and Presbyterian minister and Angelena Rice, a high school science, music, and oratory teacher. Rice grew up in the Titusville neighborhood of Birmingham, and then Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at a time when the South was racially segregated.

Her passion in school was the arts. began to learn French, music, figure skating and ballet at the age of three. At the age of fifteen, she began piano classes with the goal of becoming a concert pianist.

Her family relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1967 due to her father serving as assistant deanat the University of Denver. She attended St. Mary’s Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cherry Hills Villag, and graduated at age 16 in 1971. She began her studies in piano her passion at the Aspen Music Festival and School, She attended an International Politics course taught by Josef Korbel, which sparked her interest in the Soviet Union and international relations. Rice later described Korbel (who is the father of Madeleine Albright, then a future U.S. Secretary of State), as a central figure in her life. This is when her passion reignitated and she began her vision in politics.

She earned her bachelor of arts in political science in 1974 from the University of Denver and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society , she received her master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 and at the same time was a member of Alpha Chi Omega, Gamma Delta chapter.  In 1977 she worked as an intern with the Carter administration in the bureau of Educational and Cultural Affarirs. She also learned the Russian in Moscow State University in the summer of 1979. She also did intership program with the RAND Corpporation in Santa Monica, Clalifornia. In 1981, at age 26, she received her PHD in political science from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.


After her graduation, Rice accepted a position at Stanford University as a professor of political science. In 1987. During her time there she was promoted to associate professor in 1987, a post she held until 1993. She was a specialist on the Soviet Union and gave lectures on the subject for the Berkeley-Stanford joint program led by UC Berkeley Professor George Breslauer in the mid-1980s. she served as an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in 1989 was appointed director of Soviet and East European Affairs on the National Security Council.

As professor of Political Science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors – the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

At a 1985 meeting of arms control experts at Stanford, Rice’s performance drew the attention of Brent Scowcroft, who had served as National Security Advisor under Gerald Ford. With the election of George H. W. Bush, Scowcroft returned to the White House as National Security Adviser in 1989, and he asked Rice to become his Soviet expert on the United States National Security Council. According to R. Nicholas Burns, President Bush was “captivated” by Rice, and relied heavily on her advice in his dealings with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.

In 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff.  She served as Director; Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs; and, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rice returned to Stanford in 1991 and from 1993 until 1999 she served as Stanford’s Provost. served as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993-1999, during which she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer. As Provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender — Integrated Training in the Military

In 2001 she was appointed National Security Advisor by President George W. Bush, and succeeded General Colin Powell as Secretary of State in 2005.


She has have published five books she authored and co-authored, including two bestsellers, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010); Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984)

In 1991, Rice co-founded the Center for a New Generation, an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula which she remains actively involved in today.the new after school program headed by Mark Farris is geared towards grade K-8 in Birmingham, Alabama.

She currently serves on the board of C3, an energy software company, and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is a member of the boards of the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Previously, Rice has also served on various additional boards, for example: the Chevron Corporation; the Charles Schwab Corporation; the Transamerica Corporation; the University of Notre Dame; and, the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors.

BY. Neville Sober



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