March 19, 2009
Keynote Address by The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright
Madeleine K. Albright
Madeleine K. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 1997, she was named the first woman Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America's alliances, advocated democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade and business, labor, and environmental standards abroad.
Accomplishments during former Secretary Albright's tenure include expanding and modernizing NATO and inspiring NATO's successful campaign to reverse ethnic cleansing in Kosovo; promoting peace in the Balkans; reducing the nuclear threat from Russia; strengthening democracy in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America; skillfully managing the multifaceted relationship with China, including trade as well as human rights; encouraging the growth of trade between the Americas and Africa through the African Growth Opportunity Act; and successfully concluded hundreds of other agreements that facilitated American business overseas.
From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President's Cabinet. In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation to the United Nation's Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
During the decade prior to her return to public service, she was the Director of Women in Foreign Service Programs and a Research Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University. As a professor, Dr. Albright wrote extensively on change in communist systems, concentrating on the role of the media. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy, a non-profit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Albright was a member of President Jimmy Carter's National Security Council and White House staff from 1978 to 1981, and from 1976 to 1978, she served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.
Dr. Albright earned a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master's and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian Institute.
Dr. Albright is the first Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Albright co-chairs the UNDP's Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees for the Aspen Institute and the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security.
Dr. Albright is author of three New York Times best-sellers. Her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, was published in 2003. In 2006, Dr. Albright published The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. Her latest book, Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership was published in 2008.