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Who is Condoleezza Rice?

Condoleezza Rice


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Condoleezza RiceDr. Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954) became Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, on January 22, 2001, under President George W. Bush. She is the second black (after Colin Powell) and first female holder of the office. Rice is single and has never been married.

Childhood


Known as "Condi" to her friends, Dr. Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama as an only child to her parents, Angelena Rice and Reverend John Wesley Rice, Jr. Her father was the pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church and her mother was a music teacher. Both her parents were university professors. Her name is a variation on the Italian musical term "con dolcezza" which is a direction to play "with sweetness."

 

She was born the same year as the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Rice was nine when her schoolmate Denise McNair was killed in the bombing of the Black Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by white supremacists on September 15, 1963. Rice states her childhood during segregation taught her determination against adversity, and the need to be "twice as good" as non-minorities.

Education


At 15, Rice enrolled and began attending classes at the University of Denver with the goal of becoming a concert pianist. Her plans changed when she attended a course on international politics taught by Josef Korbel that sparked her interest in the Soviet Union and international relations, leading her to call Korbel "one of the most central figures in my life".

At 19, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974. In 1975, she obtained her master's degree from the University of Notre Dame, and in 1981 she received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. In addition to English, she speaks Russian, French, and Spanish.

Academic career


At Stanford University, Rice is a tenured Professor of Political Science, Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution. From 1993 to 1999 she served as the Stanford Provost. Rice held the position of provost before stepping down on July 1, 1999.

Dr. Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, the University of Notre Dame in 1995, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004.

Political career


From 1989 through March 1991 (the period of the fall of Berlin wall and the final days of the Soviet Union), she served in the George H. W. Bush Administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In this function, Condoleezza Rice acquired greatest merits by co-formulating the strategy of President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker in favor of German reunification. She so impressed President Bush that he introduced her to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as the one who "tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union."

In 1996, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender — Integrated Training in the Military.

Rice was a member of the boards of directors for the Chevron Corporation (which named an oil tanker Condoleezza Rice after her, later renamed Altair Voyager due to controversy and headed its committee on public policy until she resigned in January 15, 2001 to become National Security Advisor.

During George W. Bush's election campaign in 2000, Rice took a one-year leave of absence from the university to work as George W. Bush's foreign policy advisor. On December 17, 2000, Rice was picked to serve as National Security Advisor and stepped down from her position at Stanford.

Business career


She has served on the board of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. She was a Founding Board member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park and was Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. In addition, her past board service has encompassed such organizations as Transamerica Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Carnegie Corporation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Rand Corporation, the National Council for Soviet and East European Studies, the Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition and KQED, public broadcasting for San Francisco.

In the Bush Administration


Since her appointment as National Security Advisor, Rice has become a controversial figure. Some say she has polarized the African-American community, with some praising her role as the first black National Security Advisor and others calling her a "race traitor" for not conforming with their views on African-American issues. In 2003, Rice was drawn into the debate over the affirmative action admissions policy at the University of Michigan. On January 18, 2003, the Washington Post claimed that she was involved in crafting President Bush's position against race-based preferences. On the same day, Rice released a statement that somewhat contradicted this, saying that she believes race can be a factor in university admissions policies.

Dr. Rice has also been one of the most outspoken supporters of the 2003 war in Iraq. After Iraq delivered its declaration of weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations on December 8, 2002, it was Rice who wrote and submitted an editorial to the New York Times entitled "Why We Know Iraq Is Lying."

In March 2004, Dr. Rice was involved in a high-profile controversy over her refusal to publicly testify under oath before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. By way of explanation, the White House claimed executive privilege under constitutional separation of powers and cited past tradition in refusing requests for her public testimony. Debate on her role in counter-terrorism policy increased after testimony and a contemporary book by Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies. Under pressure, George W. Bush agreed to allow her to publicly testify so long as it did not create a precedent of Presidential staff being required to appear before Congress when so requested. In the end, her appearance before the 9/11 Commission on April 8, 2004 was deemed acceptable in part because she was not appearing before Congress. She thus became the first sitting National Security Advisor to testify on matters of policy.

Condoleezza Rice still dreams of becoming a concert pianist and performed Brahms' Violin Sonata in D minor with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Constitution Hall in April 2002.


In August of 2004 Forbes Magazine named Condoleezza Rice the world's most powerful woman.

The Official White House Biography:

Biography of Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor

Dr. Condoleezza Rice became the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, on January 22, 2001.

In June 1999, she completed a six year tenure as Stanford University's Provost, during which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As Provost she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students.

As professor of political science, Dr. Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has 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.

At Stanford, she has been a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution. Her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984). She also has written numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and defense policy, and has addressed audiences in settings ranging from the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Moscow to the Commonwealth Club to the 1992 and 2000 Republican National Conventions.

From 1989 through March 1991, the period of German reunification and the final days of the Soviet Union, she served in the Bush Administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender -- Integrated Training in the Military.

She was a member of the boards of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. She was a Founding Board member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California and was Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. In addition, her past board service has encompassed such organizations as Transamerica Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Carnegie Corporation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Rand Corporation, the National Council for Soviet and East European Studies, the Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition and KQED, public broadcasting for San Francisco.

Born November 14, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, she earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974; her master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, the University of Notre Dame in 1995, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004. She resides in Washington, D.C.

May 2004

 

 

 
 

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