Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice


This paper is an introduction to Condoleezza Rice, who was the first female to serve as an Advisor to the US President and the 2nd African American to serve in this position. This is a rare achievement that only few people can add to their list (Ward 52). Condoleezza has drawn criticism as well as praise for unique combination of non-nonsense leadership, intellectual tenacity and Southern charm. Condoleezza was brought up in the Segregated South amidst racism; however, she overcame these odds to be the first woman and first African American to hold the position of the provost of Stanford University. During 2001, she was appointed to serve the position of national security Advisor under President Bush administration, making him the first African American and the 2nd woman to serve in this position. In addition, Rice went on to serve as the first African American woman to be appointed as the 66th US Secretary of State between 2005 and 2009.

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Early Life of Condoleezza Rice

            Rice was born during 14th November, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama and was the only daughter of a Presbyterian minister, John Rice Jr and Angelina Ray, a high school biology teacher and a talented musician who taught Condoleezza how to read music even before learning how to read. Rice was brought up in segregated South in a racist environment. She graduated from the University of Denver in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She took a course on International Politics taught by Josef Korbel.  During the course, she heard a lecture on Joseph Stalin and she became interested in the Soviet Union and International relations, Professor Korbel became a powerful influence in Condoleezza’s life. In 1975, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with her masters, and in 1981, she finished her PhD from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of International Studies (The White House para. 5).

During 1981, Rice worked in Stanford University as a professor of political science, a position that Rice held for at least 30 years and she says that she is planning to return to on a full time basis. In 1993, she was the first African American and the first woman to the appointed to the post of the provost of the Stanford University. She served in this post for six years. At the same time, Rice was the academic and budget officer for the university.

Political Career

            During the mid 1980s, Condoleezza Rice worked as an international affairs staff in Washington DC under the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She later became the director of the East European and Soviet Union Affairs in 1989 under the National Security Council and was a special assistance to President George Bush H.W at the time when the Soviet Union was being dissolved and Germany was being reunited. In 1997, Rice was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military (Rice 56).

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Rice as a national security advisor, making her the first African American and the 2nd woman to be appointed in that position. Rice later became the first African American woman to be appointed the US Secretary of State in 2004 after the resignation of Collin Powell, and served between 2005 and 2009. When serving as the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice stated that her department will focus on transformational diplomacy, with an objective of establishing and sustaining states that are well-governed across the globe, especially in the Middle East. In order to achieve this objective, Rice transferred American diplomats to hardship regions such as Angola, Afghanistan and Iraq, and insisted on them acquiring proficiency on at least two foreign languages. In addition, Rice established a high-level position aimed at defragmenting the United States foreign aid. It should be noted that Condoleezza Rice has managed to establish herself as one of the high-profile women politicians in American history, and one of the most influential African American female politicians (Ward 48).

Recent Years

            During August 2012, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, a businesswoman in South Carolina, were the first women to gain membership in the Augusta National Golf Club, which is situated in Augusta, state of Georgia. Their membership was monumental, owing to the fact that, since the opening of the club in 1933, it has been famous for an all-male membership and its recurring failure to enroll women. During 29th August, 2012, she was in attendance of the Republican National Convention hosted in Tampa Florida in order to declare her support for the candidates under the Republican Party (Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney) in the 2012 presidential elections. In her speech at the convention, Rice announced her intention of focusing her future plans as an educator and not a politician, and declared that he is planning to return back to Stanford as a faculty member. Rice also stated that her future is with the Stanford University students and also in public service, particularly on issues such as education reform (The White House para. 6).


            Despite the challenges of being raised in the Segregated South, Condoleezza rose to become a high-profile female politician in the United States. She has managed to establish herself as one of the high-profile women politicians in American history, and one of the most influential African American female politicians. In future, Rice is planning to resume her role as an educator and not a politician; to this end, she intends to return to Stanford University as a faculty member.

Works Cited

Rice, Condoleezza. No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. Washington, Dc: Crown Archetype, 2011. Print.

The White House. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 2013. Web. 19 April 2013.

Ward, Chris. Female Force: Condoleezza Rice. New York: Bluewater Productions, 2009. Print.

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