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

Voice of the US

Voice of the US

More From Madeleine

In this video

How Albright learned to shelve any lingering insecurities and speak up as the US Ambassador to the UN.

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

Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Author & Co-Founder of Ms. Magazine

Women's activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a founding editor of Ms. magazine, co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, and the author of 10 books. A graduate...

Donna Karan
Donna Karan
Fashion Designer & Philanthropist

Donna Karan never expected to be a working mother, but at 25 years old with a newborn baby girl, Karan was asked to take the helm of women's sportswear and apparel label, Anne ...

Li Yinhe
Li Yinhe
China's First Female Sexologist

Li Yinhe is a sociologist, sexologist and LGBT rights activist from Beijing, China. Dubbed “China’s first sexologist,” Li is a pioneer for women and gender studie...

Tiffany Shlain
Tiffany Shlain
Filmmaker

Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker, artist, founder of the Webby Awards, and co-founder of The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Her last four films premiered at Sun...