First female African-American Secretary of State, first female National Security Advisor
"Condoleezza "Condi" Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American Secretary of State, as well as the second African-American Secretary of State (after Colin Powell), and the second female Secretary of State (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position.
Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up while the South was racially segregated. She obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Denver and her master's degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame. She worked at the State Department under the Carter administration and then pursued an academic fellowship at Stanford University, where she later served as provost from 1993 to 1999. On December 17, 2000, she left her position and joined the Bush administration as National Security Council as the Soviet and Eastern Europe Affairs Advisor to President George H. W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
Following her confirmation as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy directed toward expanding the number of responsible democratic governments in the world and especially in the Greater Middle East. That policy faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with U.S. support. She has logged more miles traveling than any other Secretary of State. While in the position, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation's board of directors.
In March 2009, Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. In September 2010, she became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.
She is currently on the Board of Directors of Dropbox and Makena Capital Management, LLC. and in October 2013, she was selected to be one of the 13 inaugural members of the College Football Playoff, Playoff, Postseason, Selection Committee…
Rice 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. While Rice ultimately did not become a professional pianist, she still practices often and plays with a chamber music group. She accompanied cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing Johannes Brahms' Violin Sonata in D Minor at Constitution Hall in April 2002 for the National Medal of Arts Awards.
In 1967, the family moved to Denver, Colorado. She attended St. Mary's Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, and graduated at age 16 in 1971. Rice enrolled at the University of Denver, where her father was then serving as an assistant dean.
Rice initially majored in Music, and after her sophomore year, she went to the Aspen Music Festival and School. There, she later said, she met students of greater talent than herself, and she doubted her career prospects as a pianist. She began to consider an alternative major. 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.
In 1974, at age 19, Rice was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and was awarded a B.A., cum laude, in political science by the University of Denver. While at the University of Denver she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega, Gamma Delta chapter. She obtained a master's degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. She first worked in the State Department in 1977, during the Carter administration, as an intern in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She would also study Russian at Moscow State University in the summer of 1979, and intern with the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California. In 1981, at age 26, she received her Ph.D. in political science from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her dissertation centered on military policy and politics in what was then the communist state of Czechoslovakia.
From 1980 to 1981, she was a fellow at Stanford University's Arms Control and Disarmament Program, having won a Ford Foundation Dual Expertise Fellowship in Soviet Studies and International Security. The award granted a year-long fellowship at Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology or University of California, Los Angeles. Rice contacted both Harvard and Stanford, but states that Harvard ignored her. Her fellowship at Stanford began her academic affiliation with the University and time in Northern California.
Rice was hired by Stanford University as an assistant professor of political science (1981–1987). 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 W. Breslauer in the mid-1980s.
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.
Because she would have been ineligible for tenure at Stanford if she had been absent for more than two years, she returned there in 1991. She was taken under the wing of George P. Shultz (Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989), who was a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Shultz included Rice in a "luncheon club" of intellectuals who met every few weeks to discuss foreign affairs. In 1992, Shultz, who was a board member of Chevron Corporation, recommended Rice for a spot on the Chevron board. Chevron was pursuing a $10 billion development project in Kazakhstan and, as a Soviet specialist, Rice knew the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. She traveled to Kazakhstan on Chevron's behalf and, in honor of her work, in 1993, Chevron named a 129,000-ton supertanker SS Condoleezza Rice. During this period, Rice was also appointed to the boards of Transamerica Corporation (1991) and Hewlett-Packard (1992).
At Stanford, in 1992, Rice volunteered to serve on the search committee to replace outgoing president Donald Kennedy. The committee ultimately recommended Gerhard Casper, the Provost of the University of Chicago. Casper met Rice during this search, and was so impressed that in 1993, he appointed her as Stanford's Provost, the chief budget and academic officer of the university in 1993 and she also was granted tenure and became full professor. Rice was the first female, first African-American, and youngest Provost in Stanford's history. She was also named a senior fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a senior fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution…
In 1986, Rice was appointed special assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to work on nuclear strategic planning as part of a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship. In 2005, Rice assumed office as Secretary of State. Rice played a big responsibility in trying to stop the nuclear threat from North Korea and Iran…
From 1989 through March 1991 (the period of the fall of Berlin Wall and the final days of the Soviet Union), she served in President George H. W. Bush's administration as director, and then senior director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In this position, Rice wrote what would become known as the "Chicken Kiev speech" in which Bush advised the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, against independence. She also helped develop Bush's and Secretary of State James Baker's policies in favor of German reunification. She impressed Bush, who later introduced her to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, as the one who "tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union."
In 1991, Rice returned to her teaching position at Stanford, although she continued to serve as a consultant on the former Soviet Bloc for numerous clients in both the public and private sectors. Late that year, California Governor Pete Wilson appointed her to a bipartisan committee that had been formed to draw new state legislative and congressional districts in the state.
In 1997, she sat on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.
During George W. Bush's 2000 presidential election campaign, Rice took a one-year leave of absence from Stanford University to serve as his foreign policy advisor. The group of advisors she led called itself The Vulcans in honor of the monumental Vulcan statue, which sits on a hill overlooking her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Rice would later go on to give a noteworthy speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention. The speech asserted that "... America's armed forces are not a global police force. They are not the world's 911."...
On December 17, 2000, Rice was named as National Security Advisor and stepped down from her position at Stanford. She was the first woman to occupy the post. Rice earned the nickname of "Warrior Princess", reflecting strong nerve and delicate manners.
On January 18, 2003, The Washington Post reported that Rice was involved in crafting Bush's position on race-based preferences. Rice has stated that "while race-neutral means are preferable", race can be taken into account as "one factor among others" in university admissions policies.
In 2003, Rice received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.
In August 2010, Rice received the U.S. Air Force Academy's 2009 Thomas D. White National Defense Award for contributions to the defense and security of the United States.
In March 2004, Rice declined to testify before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission). The White House claimed executive privilege under constitutional separation of powers and cited past tradition. Under pressure, Bush agreed to allow her to testify so long as it did not create a precedent of presidential staff being required to appear before United States Congress when so requested. Her appearance before the commission on April 8, 2004, was accepted by the Bush administration in part because she was not appearing directly before Congress. She thus became the first sitting National Security Advisor to testify on matters of policy.
Rice was a proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After Iraq delivered its declaration of weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations on December 8, 2002, Rice wrote an editorial for The New York Times entitled "Why We Know Iraq Is Lying". In a January 10, 2003, interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Rice made headlines by stating regarding Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities: "The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."...
After the invasion, when it became clear that Iraq did not have nuclear WMD capability, critics called Rice's claims a "hoax", "deception" and "demagogic scare tactic". Dana Milbank and Mike Allen wrote in The Washington Post: "Either she missed or overlooked numerous warnings from intelligence agencies seeking to put caveats on claims about Iraq's nuclear weapons program, or she made public claims that she knew to be false".
On November 16, 2004, Bush nominated Rice to be Secretary of State. On January 26, 2005, the Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 85–13. The negative votes, the most cast against any nomination for Secretary of State since 1825, came from Senators who, according to Senator Barbara Boxer, wanted "to hold Dr. Rice and the Bush administration accountable for their failures in Iraq and in the war on terrorism." Their reasoning was that Rice had acted irresponsibly in equating Saddam's regime with Islamist terrorism and some could not accept her previous record. Senator Robert Byrd voted against Rice's appointment, indicating that she "has asserted that the President holds far more of the war power than the Constitution grants him."
As Secretary of State, Rice traveled heavily and initiated many diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Bush administration; she holds the record for most miles logged in the position. Her diplomacy relied on strong presidential support and is considered to be the continuation of style defined by former Republican secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and James Baker. After the end of the Bush Administration, Rice returned to academia and joined the Council on Foreign Relations.
In early December 2008, Rice praised President-elect Barack Obama's selection of New York Senator Hillary Clinton to succeed her as Secretary of State, saying "she's terrific". Rice, who has spoken to Clinton since her selection, said Clinton "is someone of intelligence and she'll do a great job"...
During a farewell interview in early December 2008, Rice indicated she would return to Stanford and the Hoover Institution, "back west of the Mississippi where I belong," but beyond writing and teaching did not specify what her role would be. Rice's plans for a return to campus were elaborated in an interview with the Stanford Report in January 2009. She returned to Stanford as a political science professor and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution on March 1, 2009. As of 2012 she is on the Political Science faculty as a professor of political science and on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business as the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy, in addition to being the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.
Rice headed Chevron's committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Chevron honored Rice by naming an oil tanker Condoleezza Rice after her, but controversy led to its being renamed Altair Voyager.
She also served on the board of directors for the Carnegie Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the Chevron Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Rand Corporation, the Transamerica Corporation, and other organizations.
In 1992, Rice founded the Center for New Generation, an after-school program created to raise the high school graduation numbers of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, California. After her tenure as secretary of state, Rice was approached in February 2009 to fill an open position as a Pac-10 Commissioner, but chose instead to return to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.
In 2014 Rice joined the Ban Bossy campaign as a spokesperson advocating leadership roles for girls…
Rice has appeared four times on the Time 100, Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people. Rice is one of only nine people in the world whose influence has been considered enduring enough to have made the list—first compiled in 1999 as a retrospective of the 20th century and made an annual feature in 2004—so frequently. However, the list contains people who have the influence to change for better or for worse, and Time has also accused her of squandering her influence, stating on February 1, 2007, that her "accomplishments as Secretary of State have been modest, and even those have begun to fade" and that she "has been slow to recognize the extent to which the U.S.'s prestige has declined." In its March 19, 2007 issue it followed up stating that Rice was "executing an unmistakable course correction in U.S. foreign policy."
In 2004 and 2005, she was ranked as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine and number two in 2006 (following the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel)." (1)