by Devon Mitchell
Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State, passed away on March 23. During her 84 years of life, Secretary Albright paved a path for women and girls everywhere interested in foreign policy and diplomacy.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1937, by the time Madeleine was 11 she spoke four languages and lived in several different countries. The future Secretary of State attended Wellesley College studying political science. It was here that Madeleine became interested and passionate about democratic politics. She later studied at Johns Hopkins University Columbia University, earning her master’s degree and doctorate.
Albright began teaching international affairs at Georgetown where she put a unique twist on learning, having her students role-play foreign affairs situations. She encouraged her female students to speak up and interrupt their male colleagues, and forced male students to accept the female students as equals.
With the election of President Bill Clinton in 1992, Albright became the ambassador to the United Nations. Being the only woman on the UN Security Council at the time, Madeleine commented on meetings as “14 suits and 1 skirt”. After Clinton’s reelection, unanimously, Madeleine Albright was confirmed as the first female Secretary of State. In her time heading the Department of State, Albright advocated for the growth of NATO, peace negotiations in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and negotiations curbing nuclear talks in North Korea.
Following the news of her death, current Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made comments about her long life practicing the ideals of diplomacy and democracy. He concluded his remarks by saying, “She loved the United States, She loved the State Department, and she, in turn, was loved by it.”
On behalf of all those she paved the way for, thank you, Madeleine Albright, and rest in power.