Madeleine K. Albright, former secretary of state of the United States, will speak at the University of Washington Commencement exercises June 15.
Albright served as secretary of state from 1997 to 2001. She was the first woman secretary of state and the highest-ranking woman in the history of American government.
Albright currently is the first Michael and Virginia Mortara endowed professor in the practice of diplomacy at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the first distinguished scholar of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School. She also is chairman of The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the founder of The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm.
Accomplishments during Albright’s tenure as secretary of state include: NATO’s successful campaign to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo; promotion of peace in the Middle East and the Balkans; reduction of nuclear dangers from Russia and North Korea; expansion of democracy in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America; and the growth of trade in the Americas and in Africa.
Albright served as the United States permanent representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President’s cabinet and National Security Council from 1993 to 1997. In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation to the U.N.’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Albright served as director of Women in Foreign Service Programs and as a research professor of international affairs at Georgetown University in the decade prior to returning to government service. She also served as president of the Center for National Policy, a non-profit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.
She was a member of President Carter’s National Security Council and on the White House staff from 1978 to 1981. From 1976 to 1978 she was chief legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.
Albright received her B.A. from Wellesley College, and a master’s and doctorate from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a certificate from the Russian Institute.
Albright was born in Prague and immigrated to America with her family after Communists took control of the country in 1948.