Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will deliver keynote remarks at Agnes Scott College’s 121st commencement on May 8.
Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. As the first female to be named to that position, she became at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.
“Dr. Albright has been a true trailblazer for women in our country and around the world,” said Agnes Scott President Elizabeth Kiss. “Her record of leadership, public service and commitment to creating a more just and humane world makes her a perfect role model for Agnes Scott students. We’re honored to have Dr. Albright share her experiences with our graduates as they leave campus to engage a wider world.”
Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.
As Secretary of State, Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated democracy and human rights and promoted American trade and business, labor and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President’s Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as president of the Center for National Policy. Previously she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff from 1978 to 1981, and from 1976 to 1978, she served as chief legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.
Albright is the Michael and Virginia Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees for the Aspen Institute. In 2009, Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to chair the Group of Experts on NATO’s New Strategic Concept.
After graduating with honors from Wellesley College, Albright earned a master’s and doctorate from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a certificate from its Russian Institute.
Albright has long been an advocate for the empowerment of women. “As Secretary I was determined to make efforts to improve the lives of women and girls part of the mainstream of U.S. foreign policy—a step long overdue. One of America’s core goals was the promotion of democracy, but democracy wasn’t possible if women were treated as second-class citizens or victimized by discrimination or abuse,” Albright wrote in her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (HarperCollins, 2003).
She is the author of four New York Times best-sellers. Her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, was published in 2003. In 2006, Albright published The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership was published in 2008. Her latest book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, was published in 2009.
Albright credits Agnes Scott’s Board of Trustees Chair Clyde Tuggle with helping to inspire her book, The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. In the spring of 2004, Tuggle, now senior vice president for Global Public Affairs and Communications for The Coca-Cola Company, invited his friend Madeleine Albright to address the Yale Divinity School. Tuggle is a 1988 graduate of the school. Albright says the lecture she delivered at the school eventually led to her book.
“This is the first time I’ve been involved in an Agnes Scott commencement as chair of the board, so having my good friend and colleague Madeleine Albright as the speaker makes it an even more significant event for me personally,” said Tuggle. “And for our graduating students, Madeleine is an extremely good role model who values family, education and hard work in striving for one’s best as well as service to others.”
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location – offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. A diverse and growing residential community of scholars, this highly selective liberal arts and sciences college is known for its dynamic and challenging intellectual community. Encouraging students to engage the wider world through study abroad and presenting its curriculum with international context, Agnes Scott College delivers on its promise: The World. For Women.