Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright[2] (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937)[3][4] is an American politician and diplomat. She is the first female United States Secretary of State in U.S. history, having served from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.[5]

Along with her family, Albright immigrated to the United States in 1948 from Czechoslovakia. Her father, diplomat Josef Korbel, settled the family in Denver, and she became a U.S. citizen in 1957.[6][7] Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959 and earned a PhD from Columbia University in 1975, writing her thesis on the Prague Spring.[8] She worked as an aide to Senator Edmund Muskie before taking a position under Zbigniew Brzezinski on the National Security Council. She served in that position until the end of President Jimmy Carter's singular term in 1981.[9]

After leaving the National Security Council, Albright joined the academic faculty of Georgetown University and advised Democratic candidates regarding foreign policy. After Clinton's victory in the 1992 presidential election, she helped assemble his National Security Council. In 1993, Clinton appointed her to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She held that position until 1997, when she succeeded Warren Christopher as Secretary of State, serving until Clinton left office in 2001.

Albright has served as chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group since 2009, and is currently the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.[10] In May 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama.[11] Secretary Albright also serves as a director on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations.[12]

Madeleine Albright
64th United States Secretary of State
In office
January 23, 1997 – January 20, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
DeputyStrobe Talbott
Preceded byWarren Christopher
Succeeded byColin Powell
20th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
January 27, 1993 – January 21, 1997
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byEdward J. Perkins
Succeeded byBill Richardson
Personal details
Marie Jana Korbelová

May 15, 1937 (age 82)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Political partyDemocratic
Joseph Medill Patterson Albright
(m. 1959; div. 1982)
ResidencePurcellville, Virginia[1]
EducationWellesley College (BA)
Johns Hopkins University
Columbia University (MA, PhD)
Madeleine Albright's signature

Early life and career

Born Marie Jana Korbelová in 1937 in the Smíchov district of Prague, Czechoslovakia,[13] she is the daughter of Anna (née Spieglová) and Josef Korbel, a Czech diplomat.[14] At the time of her birth, Czechoslovakia had been independent for less than 20 years, having gained independence from the Austria-Hungary empire after World War I. Her father was a supporter of the early Czech democrats, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš.[15] Marie Jana had a younger sister Katherine[16] and a younger brother John (these versions of their names are anglicized).[17]

When Marie Jana was born, her father was serving as a press-attaché at the Czechoslovak Embassy in Belgrade. The signing of the Munich Agreement in September 1938, and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia by Adolf Hitler's troops, forced the family into exile because of their links with Beneš.[18]

In 1941, Josef and Anna converted from Judaism to Catholicism in an effort to protect their family from the Nazis.[14] Marie Jana and her siblings were raised in the Roman Catholic faith.[19][20] In 1997, Albright said her parents never told her or her two siblings about their Jewish ancestry and heritage.[21]

The family moved to Britain where her father worked for Beneš's Czechoslovak government-in-exile. Her family first lived on Kensington Park Road in Notting Hill, London (where they endured the worst of the Blitz), but later moved to Beaconsfield, then Walton-on-Thames, on the outskirts of London.[22] They kept a large metal table in the house, which was intended to shelter the family from the recurring threat of German air raids.[23] While in England, Marie Jana was one of the children shown in a documentary film designed to promote sympathy for all war refugees in London.[24]

After the defeat of the Nazis in the European Theatre of World War II and the collapse of Nazi Germany and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Korbel family returned to Prague. They were given a luxurious apartment in the Hradčany district. (This benefit generated controversy for the family, as the flat had belonged to an ethnic German Bohemian industrialist family who were forced out by the Beneš decrees to expel such families from the country. This was part of a multi-nation expulsion of ethnic Germans from eastern Europe after the war. See "Controversies").

Korbel was appointed as Czechoslovakian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, and the family moved to Belgrade. Yugoslavia was governed by the Communist Party, and Korbel was concerned his daughter would be exposed to Marxism in a Yugoslav school. She was taught privately by a governess and later sent to the Prealpina Institut pour Jeunes Filles finishing school in Chexbres, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland.[25] She learned to speak French while in Switzerland and changed her name from "Marie Jana" to "Madeleine".[26] The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over the government in 1948, with support from the Soviet Union.

As an opponent of communism, Korbel was forced to resign from his position.[27] He later obtained a position on a United Nations delegation to Kashmir. He sent his family to the United States, by way of London, to wait for him when he arrived to deliver his report to the U.N. Headquarters, then located in Lake Success, New York.[27]

Youth and young adulthood in the United States

Korbel's family emigrated from the United Kingdom on the SS America, departing Southampton on November 5, 1948, and arriving at Ellis Island in New York Harbor on November 11, 1948.[28][29] The family initially settled in Great Neck on the North Shore of Long Island.[30] Korbel applied for political asylum, arguing that as an opponent of Communism, he was under threat in Prague.[31]

With the help of Philip Moseley, a professor of Russian at Columbia University in New York City, Korbel obtained a position on the staff of the political science department at the University of Denver in Colorado.[32] He became dean of the university's school of international relations, and later taught future U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In 2008 the school was named as the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in his honor.[15]

Madeline Korbel spent her teen years in Denver, and in 1955 graduated from the Kent Denver School in Cherry Hills Village, a suburb of Denver. She founded the school's international relations club and was its first president.[33] She attended Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on a full scholarship, majoring in political science, and graduated in 1959.[34] The topic of her senior thesis was Zdeněk Fierlinger, a former Czechoslovakian Prime Minister.[35] She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1957, and joined the College Democrats of America.[36]

While home in Denver from Wellesley, Korbel worked as an intern for The Denver Post. There she met Joseph Medill Patterson Albright. He was the nephew of Alicia Patterson, owner of Newsday and wife of philanthropist Harry Frank Guggenheim.[37] Korbel converted to the Episcopal Church at the time of her marriage.[19][20] The couple were married in Wellesley in 1959, shortly after her graduation.[34]

They lived first in Rolla, Missouri, while her husband completed his military service at nearby Fort Leonard Wood. During this time, Albright worked at The Rolla Daily News.[38]

In January 1960, the couple moved to her husband's hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Joseph worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a journalist, and Albright worked as a picture editor for Encyclopædia Britannica.[39] The following year, Joseph Albright began work at Newsday in New York City, and the couple moved to Garden City on Long Island.[40] That year, she gave birth to twin daughters, Alice Patterson Albright and Anne Korbel Albright. The twins were born six weeks premature and required a long hospital stay. As a distraction, Albright began Russian classes at Hofstra University in the Village of Hempstead nearby.[40]

In 1962, the family moved to Washington, DC, where they lived in Georgetown. Albright studied international relations and continued in Russian at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, a division of Johns Hopkins University in the capital.[41]

In 1963 Joseph's aunt Alicia Patterson died, and the Albrights returned to Long Island with the notion of Joseph taking over the family newspaper business.[42] In 1967 Albright gave birth to another daughter, Katherine Medill Albright. She continued her studies at Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government.[43] (It was later renamed as the political science department, and is located within the School of International and Public Affairs). She earned a certificate in Russian, an M.A. and a Ph.D., writing her Master's thesis on the Soviet diplomatic corps and her doctoral dissertation on the role of journalists in the Prague Spring of 1968.[44] She also took a graduate course given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who later became her boss at the U.S. National Security Council.[45]


Early career

Albright returned to Washington, D.C., in 1968, and commuted to Columbia for her PhD degree, which she received in 1975.[46] She began fund-raising for her daughters' school, involvement which led to several positions on education boards.[47] She was eventually invited to organize a fund-raising dinner for the 1972 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ed Muskie of Maine.[48] This association with Muskie led to a position as his chief legislative assistant in 1976.[49] However, after the 1976 U.S. presidential election of Jimmy Carter, Albright's former professor Brzezinski was named National Security Advisor, and recruited Albright from Muskie in 1978 to work in the West Wing as the National Security Council's congressional liaison.[49] Following Carter's loss in 1980 to Ronald Reagan, Albright moved on to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she was given a grant for a research project.[50] She chose to write on the dissident journalists involved in Poland's Solidarity movement, then in its infancy but gaining international attention.[50] She traveled to Poland for her research, interviewing dissidents in Gdańsk, Warsaw and Kraków.[51] Upon her return to Washington, her husband announced his intention to divorce her for another woman.[52]

Albright joined the academic staff at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1982, specializing in Eastern European studies.[53] She also directed the university's program on women in global politics.[54] She served as a major Democratic Party foreign policy advisor, briefing Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988 (both campaigns ended in defeat).[55] In 1992, Bill Clinton returned the White House to the Democratic Party, and Albright was employed to handle the transition to a new administration at the National Security Council.[56] In January 1993, Clinton nominated her to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, her first diplomatic posting.[57]

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Albright was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations shortly after Clinton was inaugurated, presenting her credentials on February 9, 1993. During her tenure at the U.N., she had a rocky relationship with the U.N. Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, whom she criticized as "disengaged" and "neglect[ful]" of genocide in Rwanda.[58] Albright wrote: "My deepest regret from my years in public service is the failure of the United States and the international community to act sooner to halt these crimes."[59]

In Shake Hands with the Devil, Roméo Dallaire claims that in 1994, in Albright's role as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N., she avoided describing the killings in Rwanda as "genocide" until overwhelmed by the evidence for it;[60] this is now how she describes these massacres in her memoirs.[58][61] She was instructed to support a reduction or withdrawal (something which never happened) of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Rwanda but was later given more flexibility.[61] Albright later remarked in PBS documentary Ghosts of Rwanda that "it was a very, very difficult time, and the situation was unclear. You know, in retrospect, it all looks very clear. But when you were [there] at the time, it was unclear about what was happening in Rwanda.""[62]

Also in 1996, after Cuban military pilots shot down two small civilian aircraft flown by the Cuban-American exile group Brothers to the Rescue over international waters, she announced, "This is not cojones. This is cowardice."[63] The line endeared her to President Clinton, who said it was "probably the most effective one-liner in the whole administration's foreign policy."[64]

In 1996, Albright entered into a secret pact with Richard Clarke, Michael Sheehan, and James Rubin to overthrow U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was running unopposed for a second term in the 1996 selection. After 15 U.S. peacekeepers died in a failed raid in Somalia in 1993, Boutros-Ghali became a political scapegoat in the United States.[65] They dubbed the pact "Operation Orient Express" to reflect their hope that other nations would join the United States.[66] Although every other member of the United Nations Security Council voted for Boutros-Ghali, the United States refused to yield to international pressure to drop its lone veto. After four deadlocked meetings of the Security Council, Boutros-Ghali suspended his candidacy and became the only U.N. Secretary-General ever to be denied a second term. The United States then fought a four-round veto duel with France, forcing it to back down and accept Kofi Annan as the next Secretary-General. In his memoirs, Clarke said that "the entire operation had strengthened Albright's hand in the competition to be Secretary of State in the second Clinton administration."[66]

Secretary of State

The top level of the Clinton administration was divided into two camps on selecting the new foreign policy. Outgoing Chief of Staff Leon Panetta favored Albright, but a separate faction took argued, "anybody but Albright," with Sam Nunn as its first choice. Albright orchestrated a campaign on her own behalf that proved successful.[67] When Albright took office as the 64th U.S. Secretary of State on January 23, 1997, she became the first female U.S. Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government at the time of her appointment.[68] Not being a natural-born citizen of the U.S., she was not eligible as a U.S. Presidential successor and was excluded from nuclear contingency plans.

During her tenure, Albright considerably influenced American foreign policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Middle East. According to Albright's memoirs, she once argued with Colin Powell for the use of military force by asking, "What's the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can't use it?"[69]

As Secretary of State she represented the U.S. at the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. She along with the British contingents boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of the Chinese-appointed Hong Kong Legislative Council, which replaced the elected one.[70]

Houghton house Netanyahu Albright Arafat
Albright with Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Yasser Arafat at the Wye River Memorandum, 1998

According to several accounts, Prudence Bushnell, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, repeatedly asked Washington for additional security at the embassy in Nairobi, including a letter directly addressed to Albright in April 1998. Bushnell was ignored.[71] She later stated that when she spoke to Albright about the letter, Albright told her that it had not been shown to her.[72] In Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke writes about an exchange with Albright several months after the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed in August 1998. "What do you think will happen if you lose another embassy?" Clarke asked. "The Republicans in Congress will go after you." "First of all, I didn't lose these two embassies," Albright shot back. "I inherited them in the shape they were."[73]

In 1998, at the NATO summit, Albright articulated what became known as the "three Ds" of NATO, "which is no diminution of NATO, no discrimination and no duplication – because I think that we don't need any of those three "Ds" to happen."[74]

Madeleine Albright NATO
With NATO officers during NATO Ceremony of Accession of New Members, 1999

In February 1998, Albright partook in a town-hall style meeting at St. John Arena in Columbus where she, William Cohen, and Sandy Berger attempted to make the case for military action in Iraq. The crowd was disruptive, repeatedly drowning out the discussion with boos and anti-war chants. James Rubin downplayed the disruptions, claiming the crowd was supportive of a war policy.[75] Later that year, both Bill Clinton and Albright insisted that an attack on Saddam Hussein could be stopped only if Hussein reversed his decision to halt arms inspections. "Iraq has a simple choice. Reverse course or face the consequences," Albright said.[76]

In 2000, Albright became one of the highest level Western diplomats ever to meet Kim Jong-il, the then-leader of communist North Korea, during an official state visit to that country.[77]

On January 8, 2001, in one of her last acts as Secretary of State, Albright made a farewell call to Kofi Annan and said that the U.S. would continue to press Iraq to destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition of lifting economic sanctions, even after the end of the Clinton administration on January 20, 2001.[78]

In 2001, Albright received the U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by the Jefferson Awards Foundation.[79]

Post-Clinton administration

Madeleine Albright at WEF
Madeleine Albright at the World Economic Forum

Following Albright's term as Secretary of State, many speculated that she might pursue a career in Czech politics. Czech President, Václav Havel, spoke openly about the possibility of Albright succeeding him. Albright was reportedly flattered, but denied ever seriously considering the possibility of running for office in her country of origin.[80]

In 2001, Albright was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[81]

Also in 2001, Albright founded the Albright Group, an international strategy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. that later become the Albright Stonebridge Group.[82] Affiliated with the firm is Albright Capital Management, which was founded in 2005 to engage in private fund management related to emerging markets.[83]

In 2003, Albright accepted a position on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange. In 2005, she declined to run for re-election to the board in the aftermath of the Richard Grasso compensation scandal, in which Grasso, the chairman of the NYSE Board of Directors, had been granted $187.5 million in compensation, with little governance by the board on which Albright sat. During the tenure of the interim chairman, John S. Reed, Albright served as chairwoman of the NYSE board's nominating and governance committee. Shortly after the appointment of the NYSE board's permanent chairman in 2005, Albright submitted her resignation.[84]

Albright serves on the Council on Foreign Relations Board of directors and on the International Advisory Committee of the Brookings Doha Center.[85] As of 2016, she is the Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.[86] Albright serves as chairperson of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation.[87] She is also the co-chair of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor[88] and was the chairwoman of the Council of Women World Leaders Women's Ministerial Initiative up until November 16, 2007, when she was succeeded by Margot Wallström.[89]

On October 25, 2005, Albright guest starred on the television drama Gilmore Girls as herself.[90] She also made a guest appearance on Parks and Recreation, in the eighth episode of the seventh season.[91]

Madeleine Albright addresses the convention floor at the Democratic National Convention, Denver, Colorado, August 25-28, 2008 LCCN2010719292 (cropped1)
Albright speaks during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado

At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 2007, Albright declared that she and William Cohen would co-chair a new "Genocide Prevention Task Force"[92] created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States Institute for Peace. Their appointment was criticized by Harut Sassounian[93] and the Armenian National Committee of America, as both Albright and Cohen had spoken against a Congressional resolution on the Armenian genocide.[94]

Secretary Kerry Greets Former Secretary Albright
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry greets Albright, February 6, 2013

Albright endorsed and supported Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential campaign. Albright has been a close friend of Clinton and has served as an informal advisor on foreign policy matters. On December 1, 2008, then-President-elect Barack Obama nominated then-Senator Clinton for Albright's former post of Secretary of State.[95]

LBJ Foundation DIG14155-46 (37248704094)
Bob Schieffer and Madeleine Albright at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2017

In September 2009, Albright opened an exhibition of her personal jewelry collection at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City, which ran until January 2010.[96] In 2009 Albright also published the book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box about her pins.

In August 2012, when speaking at an Obama campaign event in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Albright was asked the question "How long will you blame that previous administration for all of your problems?", to which she replied "Forever".[97][98] In October 2012, Albright appeared in a video on the official Twitter feed for the Democratic Party, responding to then-GOP candidate Mitt Romney's assertion that Russia was the "number-one geopolitical foe" of the United States. According to Albright, Romney's statement was proof that he had "little understanding of what was actually going on in the 21st Century [and] he is not up to date and that is a very dangerous aspect [of his candidacy]".[99]

Albright has described Donald Trump as "the most anti-democratic leader" in US history.[100][101] She has also criticised the Trump Administration for its delay in filling some diplomatic posts as a sign of "disdain for diplomacy".[102][103]

As of 2016, Albright serves as chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm,[104] and chair of the advisory council for The Hague Institute for Global Justice, which was founded in 2011 in The Hague.[105] She also serves as an Honorary Chair for the World Justice Project.[106] The World Justice Project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.[107]


Madeleine Albright is a co-investor with Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, and George Soros in a $350 million investment vehicle called Helios Towers Africa, which intends to buy or build thousands of mobile phone towers in Africa.[108][109]


Deaths by sanctions against Iraq

On May 12, 1996, Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her, "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."[110] Albright later criticized Stahl's segment as "amount[ing] to Iraqi propaganda," saying that her question was a loaded question.[111][112] She wrote, "I had fallen into a trap and said something I did not mean,"[113] and she regretted coming "across as cold-blooded and cruel."[110] Sanctions critics took Albright's failure to reframe the question as confirmation of the statistic.[113][114][115] The segment won an Emmy Award.[116][117]

In the context of the 1998 Iraq campaign, Albright expressed another justification, saying, "But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us."[118]

2003 Iraq War

According to Politifact, Albright opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, although after the U.S. was committed to the war, she said she would support the President.[119]

Art ownership lawsuit

Following the Washington Post's profile of Albright by Michael Dobbs, an Austrian man named Philipp Harmer launched legal action against Albright, claiming her father had illegally taken possession of artwork, which belonged to his great-grandfather, Karl Nebrich.[120] Nebrich, a German-speaking Prague industrialist, was forced to abandon some of his possessions when ethnic Germans were expelled from the country after World War II under the Beneš decrees. His apartment, at 11 Hradčanská Street in Prague, was subsequently given to Korbel and his family, which they occupied before also being forced to flee to America. Harmer felt Korbel stole his great-grandfather's artwork, which was left in the apartment. The matter was handled by Albright's brother, John Korbel.[120]

Allegations of hate speech against Serbs

Palác Luxor 05
The place where the Prague incident took place.

In late October 2012, during a book signing in the Prague bookstore Palác Knih Luxor, Albright was visited by a group of activists from the Czech organization "Přátelé Srbů na Kosovu". She was filmed saying, "Disgusting Serbs, get out!" to the Czech group, which had brought war photos to the signing, some of which showed Serbian victims of the Kosovo War in 1999. The protesters were expelled from the event when police arrived. Two videos of the incident were later posted by the group on their YouTube channel.[121][122] Filmmaker Emir Kusturica expressed thanks to Czech director Václav Dvořák for organizing and participating in the demonstration. Together with other protesters, Dvořák also reported Albright to the police, stating that she was spreading ethnic hatred and disrespect to the victims of the war.[123][124]

Albright's involvement in the NATO bombing of Serbia was the main cause of the demonstration – a sensitive topic which became even more controversial when it was revealed that her investment firm, Albright Capital Management, was preparing to bid in the proposed privatization of Kosovo's state-owned telecom and postal company, Post and Telecom of Kosovo. In an article published by the New York-based magazine Bloomberg Businessweek, it was estimated that the deal could be as large as €600 million. Serbia opposed the sale, and intended to file a lawsuit to block it, alleging that the rights of former Serbian employees were not respected.[125]

Clinton campaign comment

Albright supported Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign. While introducing Clinton at a campaign event in New Hampshire ahead of that state's primary, Albright said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other" (a phrase Albright had used on several previous occasions in other contexts).[126] The remark was seen as a rebuke of younger women who supported Clinton's primary rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, which many women found "startling and offensive."[127] In a New York Times op-ed published several days after the remark, Albright said: "I absolutely believe what I said, that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line. I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based solely on gender."[126]

Honorary degrees and awards

Medlin Olbrajt (Madeleine Albright) Square in Prishtinë, Kosovo
Medlin Olbrajt Square in Prishtinë, Kosovo named in honour of Madeleine Albright

Albright holds honorary degrees from Brandeis University (1996), the University of Washington (2002), Smith College (2003), Washington University in St. Louis (2003),[128] University of Winnipeg (2005), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2007),[129] Knox College (2008),[130] and Tufts University (2015).[131]

In 1998 Albright was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[132] Albright was the second recipient of the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award presented by the Prague Society for International Cooperation. In September 2006, Albright—along with Václav Havel—received the Menschen in Europa Award for furthering the cause of international understanding.[133]


  • Madam Secretary (2003) – Albright's memoir, published after her retirement
  • The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006)
  • Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (2008)
  • Read My Pins (2009)[134][135]
  • Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948 (2012);[136] Reviewed by Paul Wilson in The New York Review of Books, 7 June 2012, pages 35–37.
  • Fascism: A Warning (2018)[137]

Personal life

Korbel married Joseph Medill Patterson Albright in 1959.[34] The couple had three daughters before divorcing in 1982.[138]

Korbel was raised Roman Catholic, but converted to the Episcopal Church at the time of her marriage in 1959. Her parents had converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1941, during her early childhood, while still in Czechoslovakia, in an effort to avoid anti-Jewish persecution before they immigrated to the US. They never discussed their Jewish ancestry with her later.[14]

When The Washington Post reported on Albright's Jewish heritage shortly after she had become Secretary of State in 1997, Albright said that the report was a "major surprise."[139] Albright has said that she did not learn until age 59[140] that both her parents were born and raised in Jewish families. As many as a dozen of her relatives in Czechoslovakia—including three of her grandparents—had been murdered in the Holocaust.[19][20][141]

Albright has mentioned her physical fitness and exercise regimen in several interviews. In 2006, she said she was capable of leg pressing 400 pounds (180 kg).[142][143]

Albright was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by The Guardian in March 2013.[144]

See also



  1. ^ Madeleine Albright's House in Purcellville, VA (Google Maps) Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  2. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (1988-07-26). "Dukakis's Foreign Policy Adviser: Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-07-19.
  3. ^ "Madeleine Albright Fast Facts". CNN. May 8, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Roger Cohen. "Memory Goes to War". The New Republic. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  5. ^ Dumbrell, John (December 2008). "President Clinton's Secretaries of State: Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright". Journal of Transatlantic Studies. 6: 217–227 – via Academic Search Complete.
  6. ^ Koven, Steven G.; Götzke, Frank (2010-08-09). American Immigration Policy: Confronting the Nation's Challenges. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9780387959405.
  7. ^ Brockes, Emma (2003-10-30). "Interview: Madeleine Albright". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  8. ^ Williams, Ian (1999-02-25). "Albright's State Deportment". ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  9. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (1996-09-22). "Madeleine Albright's Audition". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  10. ^ "Madeleine Albright: Georgetown's Treasured Professor Active as Ever". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  11. ^ Cohen, Tom (May 29, 2012). "Albright, Dylan among recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom". CNN.
  12. ^ "Board of Directors – Council on Foreign Relations". Council on Foreign Relations. 2006-05-14. Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  13. ^ "Biography at The Washington Post". The Washington Post. 1999-12-15. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  14. ^ a b c "Madeleine Albright's War Years". Tablet Magazine. April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Dobbs, Michael (December 28, 2000). "Josef Korbel's Enduring Foreign Policy Legacy". The Washington Post. p. A05. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved 2009-04-09.(subscription required)
  16. ^ Dobbs, Michael (February 9, 1997). "Out Of The Past". Washington Post. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  17. ^ Baum, Geraldine (February 8, 1995). "A Diplomatic Core". Los Angeles Times. p. 3. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  18. ^ Albright, 2003: pp. 8–9
  19. ^ a b c Dobbs, Michael (February 4, 1997). "Albright's Family Tragedy Comes to Light". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ a b c "Voices on Antisemitism interview with Madeleine K. Albright". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2007-04-12.
  21. ^ "Albright's Family Tragedy Comes to Light". Washington Post. 1997-02-04. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  22. ^ Albright, 2003, pp. 9–11.
  23. ^ John Carlin (8 February 1998). "Profile: She who knows tyranny; Madeleine Albright". The Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  24. ^ Albright, 2003, p. 9.
  25. ^ Albright, 2003, p. 15.
  26. ^ Albright, 2003, p. 4.
  27. ^ a b Albright, 2003, p. 17.
  28. ^ "Passenger Manifest". The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  29. ^ Dobbs, Michael (1999). Madeleine Albright: A twentieth-century odyssey. Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5659-9. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  30. ^ Albright, 2003, p. 18.
  31. ^ Albright, 2003, p. 19–20.
  32. ^ Albright, 2003, p. 20.
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Works cited

  • Albright, Madeleine (2003). Madam Secretary: A Memoir. Miramax; 1ST edition. p. 576. ISBN 0-7868-6843-0.
  • Blood, Thomas. , Madam Secretary: A biography of Madeleine Albright (1997)

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Edward Perkins
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Bill Richardson
Political offices
Preceded by
Warren Christopher
United States Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Colin Powell
Albright Stonebridge Group

Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) is a global business strategy firm based in Washington, D.C., United States. It was created in 2009 through the merger of international consulting firms The Albright Group and Stonebridge International.The firm advises multinationals, financial institutions, industry associations, and non-profit organizations on a variety of matters including international government relations, market entry and risk assessment, regulatory affairs, stakeholder engagement, partner development, and shared value programs.

ASG is chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.S. Commerce Secretary and Kellogg Company CEO Carlos M. Gutierrez. ASG comprises 180 country and sector experts, including more than 20 former ambassadors and ministers. Senior Strategic Counsel to the firm includes Ana Palacio, former Spanish Foreign Minister; Joschka Fischer, former German Foreign Minister; and Jaime Gama, Portugal's former Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the Assembly of the Republic. Senior Counsel includes Pär Nuder, former Swedish Minister of Finance. Senior Counselors to the firm include Carol Browner, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton; Wendy Sherman, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; and Elizabeth Littlefield, former President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

ASG is affiliated with Albright Capital Management, an emerging markets investment firm founded in 2005.

Alejandro Daniel Wolff

Alejandro Daniel Wolff (born 1956) is an American diplomat who served as the US Ambassador to Chile from 2010 to 2013. He was the acting U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

until Zalmay Khalilzad was appointed as permanent representative. He was made the representative after the resignation of John Bolton on December 9, 2006. Previously he had been the Deputy U.S. representative to the United Nations.

He graduated from UCLA in 1978. Wolff joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 1979. His assignments in Washington include tours on the Policy Planning Staff (1981–1982); in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs (1988–1989); in the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs (1989–1991); as deputy executive secretary of the department (1996–1998); and as the executive assistant to secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell (1998–2001).

Wolff has served in Algeria, Morocco, Chile, Cyprus, the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels and France. His most recent assignment was ambassador and deputy permanent U.S. Representative to the United Nations (2005–2010).

Wolff is the recipient of the Department of State's Distinguished, Superior, and Meritorious Honor Awards. He is married, with two children, and speaks French and Spanish.

Wolff is an advisory board member of the Counter Extremism Project.

Bruce Jentleson

Bruce Jentleson is a professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, where he served from 2000 to 2005 as Director of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

Jentleson is a co-founder of the Bridging the Gap project, promoting greater policy relevance among academics. From 2009-11 he was Senior Advisor to the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Director. In 2012 Jentleson served on the Obama 2012 campaign National Security Advisory Steering Committee. He also served as a senior foreign policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore in his 2000 presidential campaign, in the Clinton administration State Department (1993–94), and as a foreign policy aide to Senators Gore (1987–88) and Dave Durenberger (1978–79). He also has served on a number of policy commissions, most recently the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Working Group co-chaired by Madeleine Albright (2011–13). Prior to coming to Duke, Jentleson was a professor at UC-Davis.

Flat Creek Ranch

Flat Creek Ranch, formerly a working ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a guest ranch. The original ranch was established by Cal Carrington between 1901 and 1918 at the base of Sheep Mountain, also known as the ″Sleeping Indian″. In 1923 a new owner, socialite and journalist Cissy Patterson, built the present structures. The transition from working ranch to vacation retreat foreshadowed a movement of the Jackson Hole economy away from traditional ranching to tourism, which is documented by the Flat Creek Ranch.Carrington had worked at the Bar B C Dude Ranch from 1912 on, and established Flat Creek as a dude ranch. Cissy Patterson appeared in Jackson Hole 1916 as "Countess Gizycka", on the rebound from a failed marriage to a Polish count. Carrington and Patterson toured Europe together in 1922. Through Patterson's influence with US Senator Francis E. Warren, Carrington obtained a homestead patent on the ranch and then sold it to Patterson for $5000. In 1923 she built seven cabins, a barn and a lodge on the property.Currently, the property is owned by journalists Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel. Albright, the former husband of Madeleine Albright, is the son of Cissy Patterson's niece Josephine Patterson Albright (daughter of Joseph Medill Patterson), who inherited the property at Patterson's death in 1948.

International Women's Forum

The International Women's Forum (IWF) is an invitation-only women's organization with some 7,000 members. Its mission is "to support the women leaders of today and tomorrow." IWF hosts two conferences each year to address women's issues and provides intensive leadership training programs for women. The Leadership Foundation, Inc., a supporting organization, provides a Fellows Program and the Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Program.The IWF has been described as "highly influential." Notable members have included Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Sandra Day O'Connor, Coretta King, Betty Friedan, and Katharine Graham.

Joseph Medill Patterson Albright

Joseph Medill Patterson Albright (born 1937) is an American businessman and news publisher. He is the former husband of Madeleine Albright.

List of international trips made by Madeleine Albright as United States Secretary of State

This is a list of international visits undertaken by Madeleine Albright (in office 1997–2001) while serving as the United States Secretary of State. The list includes both private travel and official state visits. The list includes only foreign travel which the Secretaries of State have made during their tenure in the position.

List of people who have converted to Anglicanism

This page lists individuals who adopted the Anglican faith without being born into it:

Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State

Miriam Byrne, former Roman Catholic nun who became a priest in the Episcopal church of Scotland

Phillip Blond, English political thinker

T. S. Eliot, American-born British poet, playwright, and critic

Meghan Markle, American actress and humanitarian

Rupert Sheldrake, English biologist, formerly a Methodist

Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister, formerly a Methodist

Madam Secretary (book)

Madam Secretary: A Memoir is the autobiography of United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, published in 2003. It covers both her life and the eight years she spent in the Clinton administration, first as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and then as head of the State Department. The book's title reflects the term of address for a female governmental secretary. Madam Secretary appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Marianne Schnall

Marianne Schnall is an American writer, interviewer, and feminist. Her interviews with Madeleine Albright, Dr. Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler and others have been published by several magazines and websites. In 1995 she founded the not-for-profit website She is the author of Daring to Be Ourselves based on her interviews with a variety of well-known women. She and Amy Richards contributed the piece "Cyberfeminism: Networking the Net" to the 2003 anthology Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium, edited by Robin Morgan. Marianne’s latest book is "What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?: Conversations About Women, Leadership and Power," featuring interviews with politicians, public officials, thought leaders, writers, artists, and activists in an attempt to discover the obstacles that have held women back and what needs to change in order to elect a woman into the White House. With insights and personal anecdotes from Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, Nicholas Kristof, Melissa Etheridge, Olympia Snowe, and many more, "What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?" addresses timely, provocative issues involving women, politics, and power.

Mortara Center For International Studies

The Mortara Center for International Studies is an academic research center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. As part of Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Mortara Center organizes and co-sponsors lectures, seminars, and conferences and provides support for research and publications on international affairs. The current Director of the Mortara Center is Associate Professor and Chair of the Georgetown University International Theory and Research Seminar (GUITARS) Abraham Newman. Past Directors include Kathleen R. McNamara, John McNeill, Carol Lancaster, Charles Kupchan, and John Ikenberry. Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is the Michael and Virginia Mortara Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy. The Mortara Center was established through a gift from the Michael and Virginia Mortara Foundation.

Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference

The Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) is an undergraduate foreign-affairs conference in the United States. NAFAC seeks to explore current, demanding issues from both a civilian and military perspective and thus to provide a forum for addressing pressing international concerns. Held at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland since 1961, NAFAC brings together Naval Academy students and their civilian and military counterparts to share ideas and concerns relating to international affairs.

Past speakers include: George H.W. Bush, Joseph Biden, Stephen Hadley, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates, Wesley Clark, Charles Krauthammer, Sheryl Sandberg and Hillary Clinton.

ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski

ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski is one of two Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates of the Polish Navy. Formerly serving in the United States Navy as USS Clark, after her transfer to Poland she was named for Kazimierz Pułaski, an American Revolutionary War hero in the United States and an independence hero in Poland.

Clark was decommissioned and stricken on 15 March 2000. That same day, she was transferred to Poland. She is propelled by two General Electric LM-2500 gas turbines and two 350 horsepower (261 kW) electric drive auxiliary propulsion units.

She was renamed on 25 June 2000 in a ceremony attended by Madeleine Albright. Commander Marian Ambroziak was the first Polish Commanding Officer. Generał Kazimierz Pułaski is homeported at Gdynia (Oksywie), and has participated in numerous NATO exercises in the Baltic.

Partners for a New Beginning

In his "A New Beginning" speech on June 4, 2009, at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, President of the United States Barack Obama stated that "I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." During the speech, he also committed to "host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world".To support the President's "New Beginning" goals, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched Partners for a New Beginning along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Walter Isaacson (President of The Aspen Institute), and Muhtar Kent (chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company) on April 27, 2010. Leading the initiative on the State Department side is Kris Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships.

Prague Winter

Prague Winter or Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948 is an autobiographical book written by Madeleine Albright. The book was first published on 24 April 2012.

Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum

The Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum, full name: The Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum on Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status Negotiations was a memorandum signed on September 4, 1999 by Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, overseen by the United States represented by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The memorandum was witnessed and co-signed by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan.

The Mighty and the Almighty

The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs is a 2006 memoir written by Madeleine Albright, former United States Secretary of State.Albright looks at the role of God and religion in light of the current world situation. She examines Islamic fundamentalism and also the role Evangelicalism plays in the Bush White House. Albright has an interesting perspective on religion, as she was raised a Catholic, converted to the Episcopal faith at the time of her marriage, and late in life discovered her Jewish roots. Most important, Albright argues that politics and religious values can work together to promote peace.

In her book, Albright discussed the personal traumas that marked her life. For example, she discussed the shameful sudden departure of her husband of 23 years for another woman, the death of her beloved father, and the stillbirth of a child. She gave ample space to the shocking discovery by the media in the 1990s of the fact that three of her grandparents were Jewish and had died in Nazi camps. The furor over her ignorance of her own history seemed improbable to some, even an indication of self-loathing or selective self-reporting. Albright stated that her parents, out of a desire to protect her, had shielded her from the ugly truth about her grandparents' deaths.

Warren Christopher

Warren Minor Christopher (October 27, 1925 – March 18, 2011) was an American lawyer, diplomat, and politician. During Bill Clinton's first term as president, Christopher served as the 63rd Secretary of State.

Born in Scranton, North Dakota, Christopher clerked for Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas after graduating from Stanford Law School. He became a partner in the firm of O'Melveny & Myers and served as Deputy Attorney General from 1967 to 1969 under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, holding that position from 1977 to 1981. In 1991, he chaired the Christopher Commission, which investigated the Los Angeles Police Department in the wake of the Rodney King incident.

During the 1992 presidential election, Christopher headed Bill Clinton's search for a running mate, and Clinton chose Senator Al Gore. After Clinton won the 1992 election, Christopher led the Clinton administration's transition process, and he took office as Secretary of State in 1993. As Secretary of State, Christopher sought to expand NATO, broker peace in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and pressure China regarding its human rights practices. He also helped negotiate the Dayton Agreement, which ended the Bosnian War. He left office in 1997, and was succeeded by Madeleine Albright.

Christopher oversaw the Gore campaign's Florida recount effort in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 presidential election. At the time of his death in 2011, he was a Senior Partner at O'Melveny & Myers in the firm's Century City, California, office. He also served as a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Secretary of State
Cabinet of President Bill Clinton (1993–2001)

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