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What You Need to Know About Madeleine Albright Before She Comes to Campus

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

In case you missed it, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will be speaking at this year’s All American Weekend. Thanks to the American University Kennedy Political Union, Albright will be speaking on October 17 in Bender Arena, addressing American University students, faculty, families and many more.

Not only is Albright a former secretary of state, but she is among the ranks of many accomplished women. Albright has an incredibly impressive career and an even more impressive life. Here are a few facts you should know about Madeleine Albright before her visit to campus.

She’s a graduate of Wellesley College and Columbia University.

As a young woman, Secretary Albright attended Wellesley College as an undergraduate. While there, she fostered her interest in politics and worked for the school newspaper. In 1959 Secretary Albright graduated from Wellesley College with honors. She moved on to pursue her graduate studies at Columbia University.

While at Columbia, Secretary Albright pursued a certificate in Russian studies (which she earned in 1968), and in 1976 she earned an MA and PhD in public law and government. What makes Secretary Albright even more of a superwoman is the fact that she accomplished these amazing achievements all while raising her three daughters with then husband Joseph Albright.

She’s an American Ambassador to the United Nations.

In 1992, then presidential candidate Bill Clinton called on Secretary Albright and her expertise to serve as representative between the U.S. and the U.N. In 1993, Secretary Albright earned a permanent position as a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. 

She’s the first woman to be secretary of state.  

We all know Secretary Albright because of her position as a former secretary of state. However, Albright served as the first female ever in the position. While serving, Secretary Albright was the first secretary of state to travel to North Korea, which she did in October of 2000.

She is a New York Times best-selling author.

On top of her many political achievements, Secretary Albright is an accomplished author. With five New York Times best-sellers, Albright has been incredibly active since her term as secretary of state ended. Her best-selling books include, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948.

Her expertise extends beyond politics and writing.

Secretary Albright has been sharing her knowledge with young people like ourselves for years. Currently, she is a professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her class must have a long waitlist, but is likely to be very worth it. 

Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed.

Secretary Albright was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2012. This further confirms that her legacy hasn’t stopped even though her term as secretary of state is over.

She’s multi-lingual.

Many of us struggle to learn one new language, let alone two. Secretary Albright, however, has no trouble at all. She is fluent in English, Russian, Czech and French.

With her legacy and long list of accomplishments, it’s a no brainer why hundreds of people will be in attendance to listen to Secretary Albright’s speech. We’ll see you there.


Author’s note: All facts came from this article and this Her Campus AU article. 

Photo credit: cover123

Excited, free and happy are three words Arielle would use to describe herself. Currently a senior at American University, Arielle is studying print journalism and art history. A lover of traveling, exploring and getting flat out lost, Arielle one day hopes to become a professional travel writer. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can find her sipping on a cup of coffee, wandering through a musuem or reminiscing about London. She believes that life is always better while on a rooftop. Keep up with Arielle and her adventures on Instagram or Twitter (@okarielle), or take a look at her blog, okarielle.com. Stay happy and stay exploring.