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Peace Dove pin, designer Cecile et Jeanne, France; photographer John Bigelow Taylor.
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About the Secretary

Photo Credit: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Madeleine K. Albright was a professor, author, diplomat, and businesswoman who served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012.

In 1997, Dr. Albright was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first female 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 for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy. Previously, she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.

Dr. Albright was a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Dr. Albright was Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Part of Dentons Global Advisors, and Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She also chaired the National Democratic Institute, served as the president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation, and was Honorary Co-Chair of the World Refugee Council. In 2021 she was appointed Chair of the Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy.

Dr. Albright was a seven-time New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent book, Hell and Other Destinations was published in April 2020. Her other books include her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012), and Fascism: A Warning (2018).

Dr. Albright received 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.

Secretary Albright passed away on March 23, 2022 in Washington, D.C.