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Condoleezza Rice Biography

November 29, 2017

 

Condoleezza Rice was U.S. Secretary of State from 2005 until 2009 under President George W. Bush, after serving four years as National Security Advisor (2001-05). As a child, Condoleezza Rice was a gifted student and a prodigy on the piano, and she entered college at the age of 15 with the intention of becoming a concert pianist. Along the way she was influenced by political scientist Josef Korbel, the father of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Rice changed her plans and studied international politics, and by the early 1980s she was teaching at Stanford University and becoming a prominent public voice on international affairs. She also worked with the Pentagon and with the administration of George Bush the elder as an expert on foreign affairs. She returned to Stanford during the Bill Clinton administration before being tapped as NSA by the younger President Bush. In January of 2005, after Bush was elected to a second term, Condoleezza Rice replaced Colin Powell as Secretary of State and served until the end of Bush’s term. She then joined the lecture circuit and took a position as a professor at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

 

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 (2005-09).  “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.”
—Condoleezza Rice

 

Synopsis

 

Condoleezza Rice was born on November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up surrounded by racism in the segregated South, but went on to become 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 black woman (and second woman) to hold the post, and went on to become the first black woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. (She was the nation's 66th Secretary of State, serving from January 2005 to 2009.)
 

 

Early Life

 

Condoleezza 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—a position that she has held for more than three decades and plans to soon return to, full-time, according to a statement she made in 2012.

 

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.

 

Murray v. Pearson