Condoleezza Rice

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice-Bush

Order 66th Secretary of State
Term of Office January 26, 2005 -
Predecessor Colin Powell
Date of Birth November 14, 1954
Place of Birth Birmingham, Alabama
Profession University Professor
Political Party Republican

Condoleezza "Condi" Rice (born November 14 1954), is the second United States Secretary of State in the administration of President George W. Bush. She is the first African American woman, the second African American (after Colin Powell), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright) to serve in that post.

In November 2004, Bush nominated Rice to succeed Powell as Secretary of State. On January 26 2005, the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 85-13, and she was sworn in later that day.

Before her appointment, Rice served as Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term. She was the second African American (after Powell) and the first female to have been appointed to the post.



Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the only child of Angelena Rice and the Reverend John Wesley Rice, Jr. Her father was a minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church and her mother was a music teacher. In an article for the New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, writes, "Birmingham had one notably rich black family, the Gastons, who were in the insurance business. Occupying the next rung down was Alma Powell's family; her father and her uncle were the principals of two black high schools in town. Rice's father, John Wesley Rice, Jr., worked for Alma Powell's uncle as a high-school guidance counsellor, and was an ordained minister who preached on weekends; Rice's mother, Angelena, was a teacher." [1] ( (Alma Powell is married to Colin Powell.) In 1967, the family moved to Denver when her father accepted an administrative position at the University of Denver. Her name is a variation on the Italian musical term "con dolcezza" which is a direction to play "with sweetness". [2] (

She was born the same year as the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Rice was eight when her schoolmate Denise McNair was killed in the bombing of the primarily African-American Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by white supremacists on September 15, 1963. Rice states that growing up during segregation taught her determination against adversity, and the need to be "twice as good" as non-minorities [3] (


After studying piano at an Aspen music camp, Rice enrolled at the University of Denver, where her father both served as an assistant dean and taught a class called "The Black Experience in America." [4] ( At age 15, Rice began classes with the goal of becoming a concert pianist. Her plans changed when she attended a course on international politics taught by Josef Korbel, the father of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. This experience sparked her interest in the Soviet Union and international relations and led her to call Korbel, "one of the most central figures in my life" [5] (

In 1974, at age 19, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver. In 1975, she obtained her master's degree from the University of Notre Dame. She first worked in the State Department in 1977, during the Carter administration, as an intern in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 1981, at age 26, 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 was a tenured Professor of Political Science, Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution. She was a specialist on the Soviet Union and gave lectures on the subject for the Berkeley-Stanford joint program led by U.C. Berkeley's George Breslauer in the mid-1980s. She was regarded as moderately conservative at the time. However, she kept her political opinions out of her scholarship. She also was an avid reader of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, and once told a friend she leaned toward the latter in her world view. She was quietly cerebral, friendly but decorous, and always popular among students. They often saw her exercising in the gym. From 1993 to 1999 she served as the Stanford Provost, the chief budget and academic officer of the university. Yet, she managed to maintain friendly contact with various student associations, such as the Venezuelan Student Organization. After departing to enter government service, she returned to Stanford in June 2002 to deliver the commencement address.

Missing image
Condoleezza Rice speaks after being nominated to be Secretary of State by President George W. Bush (background).

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

In the George H. W. Bush Administration

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 position, Rice helped develop Bush's and Secretary of State James Baker's policies in favor of German reunification. She so impressed Bush that he introduced her to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as the one who "tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union."[6] (

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she sat on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.

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

In the George W. Bush Administration

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 reported that she was involved in crafting 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 [7] (

Missing image

Rice has also been one of the most outspoken supporters of the 2003 invasion of 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, Rice was involved in a controversy over her initial refusal to publicly testify under oath before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission). The White House claimed executive privilege under constitutional separation of powers and cited past tradition in refusing requests for her public testimony. Under pressure, 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 commission on April 8, 2004 was deemed acceptable in part because she was not actually appearing before Congress. She thus became the first sitting National Security Advisor to testify on matters of policy.

In August 2004, Forbes magazine named Rice the world's most powerful woman. [8] (

Missing image
Condoleezza Rice

Leading up to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Rice became the first National Security Advisor to campaign for an incumbent president. She used this occasion to express her belief that Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq contributed to circumstances that produced terrorism like the 9/11 attacks on America. At a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania campaign rally she said: "While Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the actual attacks on America, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a part of the Middle East that was festering and unstable, [and] was part of the circumstances that created the problem on September 11." [9] ( (See: Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda and Purported links between the government of Iraq and terrorist organizations for more information.)

On November 16, 2004, Bush nominated Rice to be Secretary of State replacing Powell, whose resignation was made public the day before. Bush named Rice's deputy, Stephen Hadley, to replace her as National Security Advisor. On January 7, 2005 Bush nominated U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick to be Rice's deputy at the Department of State. On January 19, 2005, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted by 16-2 margin to approve the forwarding of Rice's nomination to the full Senate for approval, with Democrats John Kerry and Barbara Boxer voting against Rice. On January 26, 2005, the Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 85-13. The negative votes, the most cast against any nomination for Secretary of State since 1825, came from Senators who, according to Boxer, wanted "to hold Dr. Rice and the Bush Administration accountable for their failures in Iraq and in the war on terrorism." All negative votes came from either Democrat or independent senators. Their reasoning was that Rice had acted irresponsibly in equating Hussein's regime with Islamist terrorism and some could not accept her previous record. However, Rice's charm and intellect outweighed these factors, resulting in her approval by Republicans and Democrats.

In January 2005, during Bush's second inaugural ceremonies, Rice first used the term "outposts of tyranny," referring to countries felt to threaten world peace and human rights. This term has been called a descendant of Bush's phrase "Axis of Evil" used to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. She identified six such "outposts" in which she said the United States has a duty to foster freedom: Cuba, Zimbabwe, Burma and Belarus, as well as Iran and North Korea.

Missing image
Rice meets with Cardinal Angelo Sodano during her international trip.
In February 2005, Rice began an extended tour of Europe and the Middle East for the first time in her official capacity of Secretary of State. She traveled to Germany (, the United Kingdom (, Poland (, Turkey (, Israel (, the Palestinian Territories (, Italy (, France (, Belgium ( and Luxembourg (

In April 2005, Rice went to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin, visiting the country in which she specialized during her academic career and service with the National Security Council. On the plane trip over, she related comments critical of Putin to reporters. "Trends have not been positive on the democratic side," said Rice. "There have been some setbacks, but I do still think there is a considerable amount of individual freedom in Russia, which is important." [10] (,10117,15032888-38200,00.html) In person she would tell Putin, ?We see Russia as a partner in solving regional issues, like the Balkans or the Middle East.?

During an interview with Russian Echo Moscow Radio, her fluency in the Russian language was tested when she was asked about her intentions concerning running for President. [11] (,2933,154104,00.html) When asked by a schoolgirl, "One day you will run for president?" she replied, "President, da, da," before she quickly answered with "nyet, nyet, nyet." When a Russian girl asked how she could become like her, she replied in English, "I don't want to talk about myself."

Business career

Rice has served on the board of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She was also on the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan, and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors.

Chevron honored Rice by naming an oil tanker Condoleezza Rice after her, but controversy led to its being renamed Altair Voyager [12] (, [13] ( She also headed Chevron's committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001 to become National Security Advisor.

Rice has also been active in community affairs. 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.

Future prospects

Rice has risen to become one of the highest-profile female politicians in US history, and easily the most powerful African-American woman politician. As a result, supporters have touted a future Vice Presidential or Presidential candidacy as a possibility.

After the November 2004 election, a prominent Republican radio host advocated Rice's candidacy for President in the 2008 election. Political Consultant Dick Morris, who worked for Bill Clinton, also advocated Rice's candidacy for President. Americans for Dr. Rice ( is a 527 group, not approved by any candidate or party, dedicated to the candidacy, and election, of Rice in the 2008 presidential race. Rice for her part has repeatedly said she has no desire or interest in becoming President. Interviewed on the subject by Tim Russert, Rice declared, "I will not run for president of the United States. How is that? I don't know how many ways to say 'no' in this town."[14] ( On April 21, 2005 while being interviewed on the Ekho Moskvy radio network Rice claims to have mistakenly answered "da" (Russian for "yes") when asked if she intended to seek the presidency in 2008 [15] (,1,282779.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true). She quickly retorted saying the utterance was accidental. In May 2005, several of Rice's associates claimed that she is interested in a run for the presidency, but only in draft form. [16] ( Rice has frequently been mentioned as a possible opponent of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 election, as is the subject of the upcoming book Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race by Morris and Eileen McGann.


  • Rice has stated several times in interviews that she has aspirations of becoming the Commissioner of the National Football League.
  • Rice is unmarried.
  • Rice made use of her pianist training to accompany cellist Yo-Yo Ma for Brahms's Violin Sonata in D minor at Constitution Hall in April 2002. [17] (
  • In November 2004, Rice had surgery ( to remove a non-cancerous fibroid tumor on her uterus.
  • High school: graduated from St. Mary's Academy, Englewood, Colorado, Class of 1970.
  • In February 2005, Rice attracted press attention for her choice of footwear while visiting an American military base in Germany. [18] (
  • She learned to read music at the age of 3. Her first name is a variation on the Italian musical term "con dolcezza," which is a direction to play with sweetness. [19] (


External links

  • Biography ( from the U.S. Department of State
  • Biography ( from the White House
  • Biography ( from the Hoover Institution
  • Profile ( from BBC News
  • Profile ( from CNN
  • Profile ( from MSNBC

Preceded by:
Sandy Berger
National Security Advisor
Succeeded by:
Stephen Hadley
Preceded by:
Colin Powell
United States Secretary of State
2005 – present
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Ted Stevens
United States Presidential Line of Succession
Succeeded by:
John W. Snow

Template:End box


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools