Condoleezza Rice

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Condoleezza Rice
66th United States Secretary of State
From: January 26, 2005 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Predecessor Colin Powell
Successor Hillary Rodham Clinton
Party Republican
Religion Presbyterian

Condoleezza Rice was the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the first African-American woman to hold the post. Prior to assuming her duties as Secretary of State, she served as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Her objective of transformational diplomacy is to, "work with our many partners around the world to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people -- and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system." As she stated at her confirmation hearing, "we must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. And the time for diplomacy is now."[1]

Earlier Life and Education

Dr. Rice earned her B. A. in political science from the University of Denver in 1974 at age 19. The following year, she received her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She returned to the University of Denver, where she was awarded the Ph.D. in 1981. In addition to English, she is fluent in Russian, French, German, and Spanish.


Secretary Rice with Queen Elizabeth II

Dr. Rice is a classically trained pianist and fourth-generation pianist on her mother's side. "At 15 she performed Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, her prize for winning a student competition. Until college she intended to pursue music professionally." [2] On December 1, 2008, Secretary Rice gave a piano recital for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.[3]

Career In Academia

Condoleeza was first an Assistant Professor at Stanford (1981–1987). She eventually earned tenure, becoming an Associate Professor (1987–1993), then Professor, and later Provost.[4] She was the first black, first woman and the youngest person to be Provost.[5] She was also a Hoover Institute fellow. Her primary expertise was the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations.

As Provost, Dr. Rice balanced the budget, even though the deficit was said to be impossibly large, a prediction which Rice happily proved wrong.[6]

Career in Joint Chiefs and National Security Council

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From 1989 to March 1991 she directed and also directed in a senior position, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council. She was also Special Assistant to the President of National Security Affairs. Rice was instrumental to help with developing Bush's and James Baker's policies to make full reunification of Germany. By 1990 she was already George H. W. Bush's principal advisor on the Soviet Union and one of his assistants for National Security Affairs. She impressed President George H.W. Bush, so much, that he said to Gorbachev she "tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union."[7]

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Rice returned to her teaching position at Stanford, although she consulted on the former USSR for many. Pete Wilson appointed her to a bipartisan committee that had been formed to draw new lines for voting. She was also in a Federal Advisory Committee on men and woman training in the Military.

She was helping George W. Bush for his victorious campaign for President in 2000, a later became a key advisor. She said in departure from the failed Clinton policies of the 1990s and an articulation of a new Bush plan at the convention speech “...America's armed forces are not a global police force. They are not the world's 911.”[8]

Advising of National Security

On 2000, Rice was appointed National Security Advisor and no longer served at Stanford. She was the first woman ever to serve in the position. Over 2001, Rice worked with CIA Director George Tenet almost daily on terrorism and national security issues.

In early 2003, former First Lady and now Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke of disarming Saddam Hussein: "this is something that I have followed for a decade. If he were serious about disarming he would have been much more forthcoming...there is no accounting for the chemical and biological stocks." Dr. Rice repeated these sentiments in an article in the New York Times entitled Why We Know Iraq Is Lying, "instead of implementing national initiatives to disarm, Iraq maintains institutions whose sole purpose is to thwart the work of the inspectors."[3]

Leading up to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Rice campaigned for the incumbent president. She used this moment to state her belief that Saddam's government in Iraq contributed to the instability that produced the opportunity for a terrorist attack like the 9/11 attacks on America. At a Pittsburgh, she said "While Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the actual attacks on America, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a part of the Middle East that was festering and unstable, [and] was part of the circumstances that created the problem on September 11."


  • Carnegie Corporation
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Charles Schwab Corporation
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Rand Corporation
  • Transamerica Corporation
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • KQED
  • J.P. Morgan Chase
  • University of Notre Dame
  • San Francisco Symphony
  • Center for New Generation
  • California and East Menlo Park
  • Vice President Boys and Girls Clubs of America of San Francisco
  • National Council for Soviet and East European Studies
  • Stanford Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition
  • Woodrow Wilson Center


  • Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995)
  • The Gorbachev Era (1986)
  • The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance (1984).

External links


  1. Condoleezza Rice. Newsmax.
  2. Condoleezza Rice on Piano, Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, April 9, 2006
  3. Rice Plays Piano at Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II, Associated Press, Fox News, December 02, 2008
  4. Provost.
  5. Hoover Institute.
  6. Stanford University.
  7. [1]
  8. [2]