Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton, gave a free public lecture at Hamilton College on Wednesday, March 6th in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
Her visit was part of the Sacerdote Series Great Names at Hamilton, named in recognition of a significant gift from the family of Alex Sacerdote, a 1994 Hamilton graduate.
Madeleine Albright was sworn in as the 64th United States Secretary of State in 1997 after unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. She became the first female secretary of state and the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Her achievements include ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention and progress toward stability in Eastern and Central Europe. Among Albright’s predecessors as secretary of state was Elihu Root, a Clinton native and Hamilton College graduate who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912.
Secretary Albright served as the United States permanent representative to the United Nations and as a member of President Clinton’s cabinet and the National Security Council. She was formerly the president of the Center for National Policy, a non-profit research organization formed in 1981 by representatives from government, industry, labor and education. Its mandate is to promote the study and discussion of domestic and international issues.
As a research professor of international affairs and director of Women in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Albright taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, and Central and Eastern European politics. She was also responsible for developing and implementing programs designed to enhance women's professional opportunities in international affairs.
From 1981 to 1982, Albright was awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian following an international competition in which she wrote about the role of the press in political changes in Poland during the early 1980s. She also served as a senior fellow in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, conducting research in developments and trends in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
From 1978-1981, Secretary Albright was a staff member on the National Security Council, as well as a White House staff member, where she was responsible for foreign policy legislation. From 1976-1978 she served as chief legislative assistant to Senator Edmund Muskie.
Awarded a bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from Wellesley College, she studied at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, received a certificate from the Russian Institute at Columbia University, and was awarded a master’s and doctorate from Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government.