Albright visits University

Former Secretary of State discusses American foreign policy challenges, fields student questions


Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State to President Bill Clinton, visited the Miller Center Monday evening to talk about her latest book, “Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War.” Albright, who now teaches diplomacy in the Foreign Service School at Georgetown University, also fielded questions on topics ranging from foreign aid and drones to her interview for her position in Clinton’s cabinet.

In her talk, Albright outlined the metaphorical “national security toolbox,” which she claimed lacks the necessary means to face five major foreign policy issues. The United States, Albright said in a 2008 memo written before the election as advice for whomever would serve as the next president, first must learn how to fight terrorists without creating more of them; second, must handle nuclear proliferation; third, must address the growing gap between rich and poor; fourth, must conserve energy and protect the environment; and fifth, must restore a good name to democracy.

Throughout the discussion, Albright proclaimed herself an internationalist and a feminist. She carried a sense of humor, evoking laughter upon admitting her college years were sometime “between the invention of the iPod and fire.”

Fifty students attended the ticketed event, half from the Batten School and the rest from various University schools.

Third-year College student Will Lovell said the opportunity to hear a former Secretary of State transcended political views.

“I come from a different political background, but this is an incredible opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Lovell said. “I’ve always heard of Madeleine Albright as a foremost figure in academics and politics.”

In true Jeffersonian fashion, Albright urged students to continue learning beyond their years spent on Grounds. “There is a tendency when you come out of school [to think] that you know everything,” she said, telling students it is important to embrace change after graduation.

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