Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretary of State

More From Condoleezza

In this video

Condoleezza Rice on her path from the Jim Crow South of her youth to becoming the highest diplomat in the land.

Condoleezza's Biography

Charity of Choice: Center for a New Generation
Sparking Her Interest: She got hooked on international relations after taking a college course with Professor Joseph Korbel, Madeleine Albright's father.
Inspiration from History: If she could meet anyone from history, she would sit down with Paul the Apostle or Martin Luther.
Advice for Public Speaking: (1) Know what you're talking about. (2) Do it a lot. 

Raised in Birmingham, Alabama Rice was on her way to becoming a concert pianist before turning to international relations and developing a career as a respected Soviet specialist.  In late 1989, President George H.W. Bush introduced Rice, then a National Security Council staffer, to Mikhail Gorbachev saying, “This is Condoleezza Rice.  She tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union.” Rice had just turned 35 years old and had by that time sat on the faculty of Stanford’s political science department for eight years. Of course, there was more to come. After returning to Stanford as Provost and accomplishing the monumental feat of restoring the University’s budget to health, she joined the campaign of George W. Bush in 2000.
 
Speaking before the GOP convention that year, she nodded to the odyssey of her life and career by noting that in the Jim Crow South of her youth, “Dixiecrats” had refused to register her father to vote.  After the election, President Bush appointed her National Security Advisor, the first woman to hold the position, and later, Secretary of State, making her the first African American woman to serve in the post.  Rice is back to teaching at her beloved Stanford while running an international consulting business.

Related Videos

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
First Latina Elected to Congress

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen fled Castro’s Cuba with her family when she was eight. She was educated in Miami’s Little Havana and earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1975, bef...

Brenda Berkman
Brenda Berkman
First NYC Female Firefighter

Brenda Berkman served the City of New York for 25 years before retiring in 2006 as a captain in its storied Fire Department. Her bravery was twofold: Berkman was summa cum laude gr...

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Crusader For Women

Wellesley College seniors had never before chosen a commencement speaker from their own ranks when Hillary Rodham stepped to the podium on the last day of May in 1969. Education, s...

Pat Mitchell
Pat Mitchell
Former CEO, Public Broadcast Service

Pat Mitchell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of The Paley Center for Media in New York City and the former President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PB...