|64th United States Secretary of State|
January 23, 1997 â€“ January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Warren Christopher|
|Succeeded by||Colin Powell|
|20th United States Ambassador to the United Nations|
January 27, 1993 â€“ January 21, 1997
|Preceded by||Edward J. Perkins|
|Succeeded by||Bill Richardson|
|Born||Marie Jana KorbelovÃ¡
May 15, 1937
(now Czech Republic)
|Spouse(s)||Joseph Albright (1959â€“1982)|
|Education||Wellesley College (BA)
Johns Hopkins University
Columbia University (MA, PhD)
(Formerly Roman Catholicism)
It's one thing to be religious, but it's another thing to make religion your policy.
Well, the thing that I learned as a diplomat is that human relations ultimately make a huge difference.
As a leader, you have to have the ability to assimilate new information and understand that there might be a different view.
Most of the time I spend when I get up in the morning is trying to figure out what is going to happen.
For somebody who loves foreign policy, being Secretary is the best job in the world – but it doesn't happen twice.
To be safe at the expense of the liberty of other people is a difficult equation.
I have to tell you, my seven-year-old granddaughter said to my daughter, her mother, 'So what's the big deal about Grandma Maddy having been Secretary of State? Only girls are Secretaries of State.' Most of her lifetime, it's true. But at the time it really was a big deal.
The best book, like the best speech, will do it all – make us laugh, think, cry and cheer – preferably in that order.
I didn't want to set up a women's studies program. I thought women should learn to operate in a coeducational atmosphere, because, especially in national security and international affairs, it's male-dominated.
The greatest thrill in my life was to represent the United States of America.
We live in an image society. Speeches are not what anybody cares about; what they care about is the picture.
I think that we all know what evil is. We have a sense of what's evil, and certainly killing innocent people is evil. We're less sure about what is good. There's sort of good, good enough, could be better – but absolute good is a little harder to define.
You think that the heads of state only have serious conversations, but they actually often begin really with the weather or, 'I really like your tie.'
So people are talking about revolution. What a revolution it would be to have a woman president.
Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember – there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.
Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.
My parents were of the generation who thought they were the children of a free Czechoslovakia, the only democracy in central Europe.
The U.N. bureaucracy has grown to elephantine proportions. Now that the Cold War is over, we are asking that elephant to do gymnastics.
I have been in meetings where a head of state will say, 'I like your tie,' to a man… or, 'I like your country because the weather's good,' or whatever. So for me, the pins in some ways were openers.
If you look at U.S. history through religious history, there is very much a motif that shows the importance religion has played in the U.S. We're a very religious country and it affects the way we look at various political issues.
No matter how hard we might wish, we will not be able to transform China's behavior overnight.
And so I have studied, I have to tell you, revolutions and uprisings for a long time. They are all slightly different, but what they all look for is some kind of a mechanism to go from an authoritarian system to an open, democratic system.
I really think that there was a great advantage in many ways to being a woman. I think we are a lot better at personal relationships, and then have the capability obviously of telling it like it is when it's necessary.
When Hillary served as Secretary of State, I watched her partner with President Obama to restore our country's reputation around the world.
And so I think that the idea of America working with other countries to solve problems is good for us, and it is part of digging us out of the 'my way or the highway' approach that was evident in the previous eight years.
There's Madeleine, and then there's 'Madeleine Albright'. And I sometimes kind of think, who is this person? Once you become 'Madeleine Albright' it doesn't go away.
I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men's clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am.
Women have to be active listeners and interrupters – but when you interrupt, you have to know what you are talking about.
I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important.
I did go to Wellesley, a women's college. And I am of a kind of strange generation which is transitional in terms of women who wanted to go out and get jobs.
It's important that we invest in America – literally. The terrorists wanted to destroy our economy, and we can't let our system fall apart. We also have to invest in one another.
The magic of America is that we're a free and open society with a mixed population. Part of our security is our freedom.
We will not be intimidated or pushed off the world stage by people who do not like what we stand for, and that is, freedom, democracy and the fight against disease, poverty and terrorism.
Iraq is a long way from the U.S., but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.
I can't imagine what it is like to be raised in a society where their only statues that exist are to you and your father.
Maybe if everybody in leadership was a woman, you might not get into the conflicts in the first place. But if you watch the women who have made it to the top, they haven't exactly been non-aggressive – including me.
I do believe that in order to be a successful negotiator that as a diplomat, you have to be able to put yourself into the other person's shoes. Unless you can understand what is motivating them, you are never going to be able to figure out how to solve a particular problem.
I think the personal relationships I established mattered in terms of what I was able to get done. And I did bring women's issues to the center of our foreign policy.
No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it is holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being, so the goal is to always establish common ground.
I think that a president needs to have a variety of views presented. But also, there has to be a team effort, because otherwise, I think it creates a dissonance and difficulty.
I saw what happened when a dictator was allowed to take over a piece of a country and the country went down the tubes. And I saw the opposite during the war when America joined the fight.
Well I do think, when there are more women, that the tone of the conversation changes, and also the goals of the conversation change. But it doesn't mean that the whole world would be a lot better if it were totally run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten high school.
I was a little girl in World War II and I'm used to being freed by Americans.
Because of my parents' love of democracy, we came to America after being driven twice from our home in Czechoslovakia – first by Hitler and then by Stalin.
Even before I went to the UN, I often would want to say something in a meeting – only woman at the table – and I'd think, 'OK well, I don't think I'll say that. It may sound stupid.' And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it's completely brilliant, and you are so mad at yourself for not saying something.
If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.
When Hillary served in the Senate, I saw her work day and night as a member of the Armed Services Committee – working with Republicans and Democrats to keep our military strong and protect our troops and their families.
I've never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.
But I do not believe that the world would be entirely different if there were more women leaders. Maybe if everybody in leadership was a woman, you might not get into the conflicts in the first place. But if you watch the women who have made it to the top, they haven't exactly been non-aggressive – including me.
Jewelry and pins have been worn throughout history as symbols of power, sending messages. Interestingly enough, it was mostly men who wore the jewelry in various times, and obviously crowns were part of signals that were being sent throughout history by people of rank.
I think women are really good at making friends and not good at networking. Men are good at networking and not necessarily making friends. That's a gross generalization, but I think it holds in many ways.
This is pure speculation, but for a period of time, a lot of getting into a party was through fundraising and volunteer work, and Republican women had more time to do that than democratic women, who were out there getting jobs.
When Hillary was First Lady, we went to the Beijing Women's Conference. She courageously stood up and spoke out on behalf of human rights and women's rights, inspiring millions to fight for a better future.
Saddam's goal is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.
A lot of people think international relations is like a game of chess. But it's not a game of chess, where people sit quietly, thinking out their strategy, taking their time between moves. It's more like a game of billiards, with a bunch of balls clustered together.
If you look at my life, generally, I've been put in situations which were difficult and which I conquered.
Our strategic dialogue with China can both protect American interests and uphold our principles, provided we are honest about our differences on human rights and other issues and provided we use a mix of targeted incentives and sanctions to narrow these differences.
I was in Europe and it was at this stage that I fell in love with Americans in uniform. And I continue to have that love affair.
Really, I have to laugh because there was a whole set of stories that made me sound like the Dragon Lady, you know, 'tough this and tough that.' Then there is this business about 'gooey.' The bottom line is I am a pragmatic idealist.
While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile.
The only thing I have to go by is what my mother and father told me, how I was brought up.
I am a beneficiary of the American people's generosity, and I hope we can have comprehensive immigration legislation that allows this country to continue to be enriched by those who were not born here.
I have always seen the United States as a force of good. And I have learned that there is the idealistic part about what we can do at the U.N. and there is a doable part. And I have learned what is more doable.
The capability of negotiating… is something that means you not only have to understand fully what you believe and what your national interests are but in order to be a really good negotiator, you have to try to figure out what the other person on the other side of the table has in mind.
One of the things that was really an issue was I did not want to just be a woman secretary of state. I wanted to be a secretary of a state who was a woman, but not just chosen for that particular reason.
I've never seen America as an imperialist or colonialist or meddling country.
I am often asked if, when I was secretary, I had problems with foreign men. That is not who I had problems with, because I arrived in a very large plane that said United States of America. I had more problems with the men in our own government.
I loved being Secretary of State, that's probably evident to everyone who watched me.
I wasn't a normal professor. I had worked in government. I hadn't written nine zillion books. I was a hands-on professor.
I know that war is very cruel and that life is harder when you aren't able to live in the place you called home.
And frankly, I don't understand – I mean, I'm obviously a card-carrying Democrat – but I can't understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.
It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.
The day-to-day making of policy is arguing all the time. You're trying to get the right approach and the right answer, and there are moments that aren't very pleasant. But in the end, you look at the overall product.
I think that there is never an indispensable leader, you know? I think that there is a time with dignity that one needs to leave.
I have said this many times, that there seems to be enough room in the world for mediocre men, but not for mediocre women, and we really have to work very, very hard.
The difference between humans and other mammals is that we know how to accessorize.
Don't make me into this airy-fairy, moralist, idealist because I'm not.
Take it from someone who fled the Iron Curtain: I know what happens when you give the Russians a green light.
One of the issues I kept saying to my students is you have to learn to interrupt. When you raise your hand at a meeting, by the time they get to you, the point is not germane. So the bottom line is active listening. If you are going to interrupt, you look for opportunities. You have to know what you're talking about.
Women can't do everything at the same time, we need to understand milestones in our lives comes in segments.
I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid that Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy – worse than Vietnam, not in the number who died, but in terms of its unintended consequences and its reverberation throughout the region.