SEE ALSO: Barbara Walters, Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, Katherine Graham, Nancy Brinker, Geraldine Ferraro, Patsy Mink, Sonia Sotomayor, Mary McLeod Bethune, Sandra Day O’Connor, Shirley Chisholm, Ida Tarbell, Cecile Richards, Toni Morrison, Michelle Obama, Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt
During his two terms in office, President Bill Clinton invited a record number of women to join his cabinet and inner circle. Madeline Korbel Albright was the first woman to serve as Secretary. Albright was sworn in as the 64th Secretary of State on January 23, 1997. She was the first female to head the State Department and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Albright was the daughter of a diplomat who became a U.N. delegate after WWII. She was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in 1957. Not being a natural-born citizen, Albright was ineligible to be U.S. Presidential successor and thus was excluded from high level nuclear contingency plans.
In her position as secretary of state, Albright reinforced the U.S. alliances; advocated democracy and human rights; and promoted American trade and business, labor and environmental standards abroad.
Prior to her State Department appointment, Albright had been the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet and National Security Council. Before that, she was the president of the Center for National Policy, a non-profit research organization formed to promote the study and discussion of domestic and international issues. As a research professor of international affairs and director of women in foreign service program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, and Central and Eastern European politics. She was also responsible for developing and implementing programs designed to enhance women’s professional opportunities in international affairs. She briefed Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale on foreign policy matters in their unsuccessful run for the White House in 1984.
Awarded a B.A. from Wellesley College with honors in political science, she studied at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She received a Certificate from the Russian Institute at Columbia University and she also has her Masters and Doctorate from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government.
Madeline Albright is fluent in French and Czech, with speaking and reading abilities in Russian and Polish. Secretary Albright has three daughters.
Aida Alvarez: Eugenie Moore Anderson: Ethel Andrus: Shirley Temple Black: Carol Moseley Braun: Jane Margaret Byrne: Genevieve Cline: Josefina Fierro de Bright: Susan R. Estrich: Phyllis Gibson: Ella Grasso: Mary Harriman Rumsey: Penny Harrington: Barbara Jordan: Adelina Otero-Warren: Carrie Saxon Perry: Condoleezza Rice: Mary Louise Smith: Marion Stubbs Thomas: Tracey Thurman: Johnnie Tillman: Barbara Watson: Susan Rice: Susana Martinez: