Madeleine Albright Reflects On Women’s Rights, Diplomacy In Wellesley Return
The political science majors at Wellesley College this week welcomed one of their most famous alumnae to campus: Madeleine Albright, class of 1959.
Albright became the country’s first female secretary of state in 1997. In doing so, Albright broke a glass ceiling that Wellesley political science professor Craig Murhpy described as made of “gorilla glass.” But Albright was able to break through it in part because of networks of people who supported her.
As he introduced the honored guest, he smiled: “Secretary Albright, I want to introduce you to one of those networks: the political science majors of Wellesley College.”
Albright arrived to talk foreign policy with student fellows at the Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs, which she helped establish at Wellesley. She told the political science majors that they were in pretty rare company — given that of the three women who have served as secretary of state, two were both Wellesley graduates. Albright was the first. Hillary Clinton was the second.
As she spoke to students, Albright recalled a favorite story: “My youngest granddaughter, when she turned seven a couple of years ago said, ‘so what’s the big deal about Grandma Maddie being Secretary of State? Only girls are secretary of state.’ In her lifetime, that would be true.”
We had a chance to sit down with Albright to talk about her work as secretary of state, and began by discussing womens’ rights, and how she tried to put them at the center of U.S. foreign policy.
- Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001); distinguished professor of diplomacy at Georgetown University; chair, Albright Stonebridge Group
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