Who Is Condoleezza Rice?
Condoleezza Rice is the first woman and first African American to serve as provost of Stanford University. In 2001, Rice was appointed national security adviser by President George W. Bush, becoming the first African American woman (and woman) to hold the post, and went on to become the first Black woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State.
Early Life and Education
Rice was born on November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama. The only child of a Presbyterian minister and a teacher, Rice grew up surrounded by racism in the segregated South.
She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Denver in 1974, her master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975, and her Ph.D. from the University of Denver's Graduate School of International Studies in 1981. That same year, she joined Stanford University as a political science professor.
In 1993, Rice became the first woman and first African American to serve as provost of Stanford University — a post she held for six years. During that time, she also served as the university's chief budget and academic officer.
In the mid-1980s, Rice spent a period in Washington, D.C., working as an international affairs fellow attached to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1989, she became director of Soviet and East European affairs with the National Security Council, and special assistant to President George H.W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.
A few years later, in 2001, Rice was appointed national security adviser by President George W. Bush, becoming the first African American woman (and woman) to hold the post. She went on to become the first African American woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State — she became the nation's 66th Secretary of State in 2004, following Colin Powell's resignation, and served from 2005 to 2009.
As Secretary of State, Rice dedicated her department to "Transformational Diplomacy," with a mission of building and sustaining democratic, well-governed states around the world and the Middle East in particular.
To that end, she relocated American diplomats to such hardship locations as Iraq, Afghanistan and Angola, and required them to become fluent in two foreign languages. She also created a high-level position to defragment U.S. foreign aid.
Rice's books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).
Augusta National Golf Club
In August 2012, Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore became the first women to (simultaneously) become members of the Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia.
The event was monumental: The Augusta National Golf Club, which opened in 1933, had infamously been known for its all-male membership and repeated failure to admit women.
Just a few weeks later, on August 29, 2012, Rice attended the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, showing her support for the Republican Party's 2012 election candidates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Rice delivered a riveting speech on the second day of the convention, spurring positive media attention: "I think my father thought I might be president of the United States. I think he would've been satisfied with secretary of state. I'm a foreign policy person and to have a chance to serve my country as the nation's chief diplomat at a time of peril and consequence, that was enough," she said, adding that her future plans focus on being an educator, not a politician.
"I'll go back and be a happy Stanford faculty member," Rice said. "And, obviously, I'll do what I can to help this ticket. But my life is in Palo Alto. My future is with my students at Stanford and in public service on issues that I care about like education reform."
- Name: Condoleezza Rice
- Birth Year: 1954
- Birth date: November 14, 1954
- Birth State: Alabama
- Birth City: Birmingham
- Birth Country: United States
- Gender: Female
- Best Known For: Condoleezza Rice is the first Black woman to serve as the United States' national security adviser, as well as the first Black woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State.
- War and Militaries
- Education and Academia
- U.S. Politics
- World Politics
- Astrological Sign: Scorpio
- University of Denver
- University of Notre Dame
- Stanford University
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- Article Title: Condoleezza Rice Biography
- Author: Biography.com Editors
- Website Name: The Biography.com website
- Url: https://www.biography.com/political-figures/condoleezza-rice
- Access Date:
- Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
- Last Updated: April 20, 2021
- Original Published Date: April 3, 2014
- I think my father thought I might be president of the United States. I think he would've been satisfied with secretary of state. I'm a foreign policy person and to have a chance to serve my country as the nation’s chief diplomat at a time of peril and consequence, that was enough.
- Differences can be a strength rather than a handicap.
- I never wanted to run for anything. I don't think I even ran for class anything in school.
- I'm enough of an historian to know that my reputation will be what my reputation is. It might be different in five months from five years to 50 years, and so I'm simply not going to worry about that.
- I think September 11th was one of those great earthquakes that clarify and sharpen. Events are in much sharper relief.
- People may oppose you, but when they realize you can hurt them, they'll join your side.
- We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
- I find football so interesting strategically. It's the closest thing to war. What you are doing is taking and yielding territory and have certain strategies and tactics.
- My parents had me absolutely convinced that you may not be able to have a hamburger at Woolworth's, but you can be president of the United States.
- There cannot be an absence of moral content in American foreign policy. Europeans giggle at this and say we are naive, but we are not European, we are American and we have different principles.
- You were told in segregated Birmingham that if you ran twice as hard, you might get half as far. And there were also people willing to run four times as hard so they could stay abreast. And once in a while, somebody was willing to run eight times as hard so they could get ahead.
- Miss Rice is like my sister. We are completely in sync. When she speaks, you know that she is speaking for me.