Black History Pathfinder Profile: Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist, diplomat, civil servant, author and professor. She is the first African-American woman to serve as National Security Advisor and the first African-American woman to serve as United States Secretary of State. She was the 66th Secretary of State as well as the second African-American Secretary of State (after Colin Powell), and the second female Secretary of State (after Madeleine Albright).

Growing up an only child in the segregated south, Rice was ambitious and committed to her education. She enrolled at the University of Denver at the age of 15 and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1974, her master’s from the University of Notre Dame in 1975, and her Ph.D. from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of International Studies in 1981. She joined the faculty at Stanford shortly after receiving her Ph.D. As a member of Stanford’s faculty, Rice won two of the highest teaching honors – the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Rice made history in 1993 when she became the first woman and first African American to serve as provost of Stanford University. She simultaneously served as the University’s chief budget and academic officer. After moving to Washington, DC, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She held a number of positions including Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs from 1989–1991.

When President George W. Bush appointed her national security adviser in 2001 she became the first African American woman (and woman) to hold the position. She served from 2001–2005. After Colin Powell resigned in 2004, she took his place and became the first African American woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. She held that position from 2005-2009.

Rice has also authored and co-authored a number of books. Her books include  Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984), The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin and Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow. She also has two bestsellers, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010).

Condoleezza Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.  In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Committee. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC. She has served on the boards of Dropbox, Chevron, Charles Schwab, the University of Notre Dame and several others.

Rice is set to lead Stanford’s Hoover Institution-a public policy think tank- later this year.

The Ellison for Congress team salutes Condoleezza Rice for her commitment to bringing peace and diplomacy worldwide.

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