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 Moment

"Bad Hair Day"

"Bad Hair Day"

More From Madeleine

In this video

Albright points out the benefits and downfalls of being a female Secretary of State when it comes to personal grooming.

Madeleine 's Biography

Biggest Influence Never Met: Harry Truman
Three Adjectives to Describe Herself: Grateful, optimistic, and hard working
First Paying Job: In her high school years she sold bras.
Most Meaningful Advice Received: "From my mother, ‘Be generous.’ I really do think it's a very important thing."

The Washington Post recently asked Madeleine Albright about her place in history. “I have to laugh,” said America’s first female Secretary of State. She remembered her young granddaughter wondering “‘so what’s the big deal about Grandma Maddie having been Secretary of State? Only girls are Secretaries of State.’”
Born in prewar Prague, Albright’s earliest years were defined by her family’s political flight—first from Hitler and, after 1948, from Czechoslovakia’s Communist government. Albright was a Wellesley alumna, a naturalized citizen, and had worked as a journalist by the time she became a mother for the first time in 1960. She spent the next 30 years simultaneously raising three daughters, obtaining graduate degrees and ascending to distinguished positions in the academic, political and foreign policy establishments. She served as Ambassador to the UN for President Clinton’s first term and was appointed Secretary of State at the start of his second term, thereby becoming the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.  She played a powerful role in shaping the Clinton administration’s intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina while grappling with the other dizzying world events and crises of her tenure. 
 
Since leaving government, she’s continued to advise presidents and her (yes, mostly female) successors, has sat on an array of corporate and philanthropic boards, and has launched her own commercial ventures. Meanwhile, she remains a proud immigrant, intellectual, and woman. Her famous brooches, which had been “part of my personal diplomatic arsenal” (as Secretary, she wore a snake during a during a meeting with Saddam Hussein), became the basis of 2009’s Read My Pins: Stories From A Diplomat’s Jewel Box.

 

Related Videos

Susan Brownmiller
Susan Brownmiller
Author, "Against Our Will"

Susan Brownmiller is an author and feminist activist, best known for her groundbreaking book Against Her Will: Men, Women, and Rape, which helped modernize attitudes towards the ra...

Connie Chung
Connie Chung
Television Journalist

Connie Chung became the first Asian and the second woman to co-anchor one of America's major network news programs when she co-hosted the "CBS Evening News" with Dan ...

Michelle Rhee
Michelle Rhee
Education Reformer

The daughter of South Korean émigrés, and herself educated for a year in her parents’ homeland, Michelle Rhee graduated from Cornell before landing in the princ...

Val Demings
Val Demings
First Female Chief of Police, Orlando, FL

Val Demings’ parents—her mother a maid and her father a janitor—never graduated from high school, but they instilled in their daughter the message that Demings co...