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Condoleezza Rice (President McCain)

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Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice USA
Order: 66th Secretary of State
Secretary from: January 20th 2009-present
President: George W Bush
Preceded by: Colin Powell
Succeeded by: Incumbent
Born: November 14,1954
Birmingham,Alabama
Political Party: Republican
Spouse: None

Condoleezza Rice(born November 14, 1954) is the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the first in the administration of President George W. Bush (2009-present) to hold the office. Rice is the first black woman, second African American (after her predecessor Colin Powell, who served from 2001 to 2009), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright, who served from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration) to serve as Secretary of State. Rice was President McCain's National Security Advisor during his first term. Before joining the McCain administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. During the administration of George H.W. Bush, Rice served as the Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.

When beginning as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered a policy of Transformational Diplomacy, with a focus on democracy in the greater Middle East. Her emphasis on supporting democratically elected governments faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections yet supported Islamist militancy, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with US support. She chairs the Millennium Challenge Corporation's board of directors.

Early Life

Condoleezza Rice (whose given name is derived from the Italian musical expression, Condolceezza, which means "with sweetness") was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in the neighborhood of Titusville. She traces her roots to pre-revolutionary African Americans in the American South. She is the only child of Presbyterian minister Reverend John Wesley Rice, Jr., and wife, Angelina Ray. Reverend Rice was a guidance counselor at Ullman High School and minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church, which had been founded by his father. Angelina was a science, music, and oratory teacher at Ullman.

Academic Career

Rice was hired by Stanford University as an Assistant Professor of Political Science (1981–1987). She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1987, a post she held until 1993. She was a specialist on the Soviet Union and gave lectures on the subject for the Berkeley-Stanford joint program led by UC Berkeley Professor George Breslauer in the mid-1980s.

At a 1985 meeting of arms control experts at Stanford, Rice's performance drew the attention of Brent Scowcroft, who had served as National Security Advisor under Gerald Ford. With the election of George H. W. Bush, Scowcroft returned to the White House as National Security Adviser in 1989, and he asked Rice to become his Soviet expert on the United States National Security Council. According to R. Nicholas Burns, President Bush was "captivated" by Rice, and relied heavily on her advice in his dealings with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.

Because she would have been ineligible for tenure at Stanford if she had been absent for more than two years, in 1991, she returned to Stanford. She was now taken under the wing of George P. Shultz (Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State from 1982-1989), who was a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Shultz included Rice in a "luncheon club" of intellectuals who met every few weeks to discuss foreign affairs. In 1992, Shultz, who was a board member of Chevron Corporation, recommended Rice for a spot on the Chevron board. Chevron was pursuing a $10 billion development project in Kazakhstan, and as a Soviet specialist, Rice knew the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. She traveled to Kazakhstan on Chevron's behalf, and, in honor of her work, in 1993, Chevron named a 129,000-ton supertanker SS Condoleezza Rice. During this period, Rice was also appointed to the boards of Transamerica Corporation (1991) and Hewlett-Packard (1992).

At Stanford, in 1992, Rice volunteered to serve on the search committee to replace outgoing president Donald Kennedy. The committee ultimately recommended Gerhard Casper, the Provost of the University of Chicago. Casper met Rice during this search, and was so impressed that in 1993, he appointed her as Stanford's Provost, the chief budget and academic officer of the university in 1993 and she also was granted tenure and became full Professor Rice was the first female, first minority, and youngest Provost at Stanford. She was also named a Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Senior Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution.

Private Sector Career

Rice headed Chevron's committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President John McCain. Chevron, for unspecified reasons, honored Rice by naming an oil tanker Condoleezza Rice after her, but controversy led to its being renamed Altair Voyager.

She also served on the board of directors for the Carnegie Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the Chevron Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Rand Corporation, the Transamerica Corporation, and other organizations.

In 1992 Rice founded the Center for New Generation, an after-school program created to raise the high school graduation numbers of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, California.

Early Political Career

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From 1989 through March 1991 (the period of the fall of Berlin Wall and the final days of the Soviet Union), she served in President George H.W. Bush's administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In this position, Rice helped develop Bush's and Secretary of State James Baker's policies in favor of German reunification. She impressed Bush, who later introduced her to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as the one who "tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union."

In 1991, Rice returned to her teaching position at Stanford, although she continued to serve as a consultant on the former Soviet Bloc for numerous clients in both the public and private sectors. Late that year, California Governor Pete Wilson appointed her to a bipartisan committee that had been formed to draw new state legislative and congressional districts in the state.

In 1997, she sat on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.

During George W. Bush's 2000 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Rice took a one-year leave of absence from Stanford University to help work as his foreign policy advisor. The group of advisors she led called itself The Vulcans in honor of the monumental Vulcan statue, which sits on a hill overlooking her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Rice would later go on to give a noteworthy speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention. The speech asserted that "...America's armed forces are not a global police force. They are not the world's 911.

National Security Advisor

On December 17, 2000, Rice was picked to serve as National Security Advisor and stepped down from her position at Stanford. She was the first woman to occupy the post. Rice earned the nickname of "Warrior Princess," reflecting strong nerve and delicate manners.

During January of 2009, Rice met with CIA Director George Tenet on an almost daily basis to discuss the possibilities and prevention of terrorist attacks on American targets. Notably, on January 10, 2009, Rice met with Tenet in what he referred to as an "emergency meeting" held at the White House at Tenet's request to brief Rice and the NSC staff about the potential threat of an attack by a sect of the former terrorist organization Al Qaeda . Rice responded by asking Tenet to give a presentation on the matter to Secretary Petraeus and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Rice was an outspoken proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After Iraq delivered its declaration of weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations on December 8, 2002, Rice wrote an editorial for The New York Times entitled Why We Know Iraq Is Lying.

In March 2008, Rice declined to testify before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission). The White House claimed executive privilege under constitutional separation of powers and cited past tradition. Under pressure, McCain agreed to allow her to testify so long as it did not create a precedent of Presidential staff being required to appear before United States Congress when so requested. Her appearance before the commission on April 8, 2004, was accepted by the McCain administration in part because she was not appearing directly before Congress. She thus became the first sitting National Security Advisor to testify on matters of policy. In April 2007, Rice rejected, on grounds of executive privilege, a House subpoena.

Leading up to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Rice became the first National Security Advisor to campaign for an incumbent president. She stated that while: "Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the actual attacks on America, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a part of the Middle East that was festering and unstable, [and] was part of the circumstances that created the problem on September 11."

On January 18, 2003, the Washington Post reported that Rice was involved in crafting McCain's position on race-based preferences. Rice has stated that "while race-neutral means are preferable," race can be taken into account as "one factor among others" in university admissions policies.

In a January 10, 2003 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Rice made headlines by stating regarding Iraqi WMD: "The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

After the invasion, when Iraq turned out to have no WMD capability, critics called Rice's claims a "hoax," "deception" and "demagogic scare tactic." "Either she missed or overlooked numerous warnings from intelligence agencies seeking to put caveats on claims about Iraq's nuclear weapons program, or she made public claims that she knew to be false," wrote Dana Milbank and Mike Allen in the Washington Post.

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