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

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King
Tennis Champion & Activist

Billie Jean King first learned tennis in the late 1950s on the public courts in Long Beach, California. The game ultimately took her farther than she could possibly have imagined. ...

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer
CEO of Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer is the President and CEO of Yahoo!. Before taking the reins at Yahoo!, she spent most of her career at Google, going from one of its early engineers to Vice President...

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman
Founder, Children's Defense Fund

Marian Wright Edelman is a renowned activist who has been fighting for the rights of children for the last 40 years. Through the Children’s Defense Fund that she established ...

Marin Alsop
Marin Alsop
First Woman Conductor of a Major American Orchestra

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Marin Alsop is a lot more than just the first female conductor of a major American orchestra. Alsop is also the Chief Conductor of the Sao ...