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Madeleine Albright

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Madeleine Albright, America's first female secretary of state, was born Marie Jana Korbelova on May 15, 1937, in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). The daughter of Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, Albright fled to Britain with her family after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939.

Although Albright long believed that they had fled for political reasons, she learned as an adult that her family was Jewish and that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.

The family returned home after World War II ended but immigrated to the United States in 1948 after a Soviet-sponsored Communist coup seized power in Prague. Josef Korbel became dean of the school of international relations at the University of Denver (where she would later coach another female secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice).

After graduating from Wellesley College in 1959, Albright married Joseph Medill Patterson Albright of the prominent Medill newspaper publishing family. With her MA and PhD from Columbia University under her belt, Albright headed to Washington, D.C., 

He worked for Maine Sen. Edmund S. Muskie and served on the National Security Council in president Jimmy Carter's administration. She and Joseph Albright divorced in 1982.

During the republican presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Albright worked for several nonprofits and taught at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

With a Democrat - Bill Clinton - in the White House again in 1992, Albright found herself at the center of washington's most powerful circle. In 1993, Clinton appointed her ambassador to the United Nations. 

In that post, Albright earned a reputation as a defender of direct-speaking American interests and an advocate for an increased U.S. role in U.N. operations. In late 1996, Clinton nominated Albright to replace Warren Christopher as U.S. secretary of state. 

After his nomination was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, he was sworn in on January 23, 1997.  As secretary of state, Albright pursued an active foreign policy, including the use of military force to suppress autocratic regimes in Yugoslavia and Iraq, among other troubled areas.

His trip to North Korea in October 2000 to meet with leader Kim Jong Il made him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country at the time. He drew some criticism for his tough position on U.S. sanctions on Iraq, which have led to many civilian deaths in the country.

Albright's term ended with the election of President George W. Bush in 2000. Despite talk of him entering Czech politics, he returned to his teaching post at Georgetown, accepted several board positions and became chairman of a non-profit organization, the National Institute for International Affairs.

On March 23, 2022, Albright died at the age of 84. Just one month before his death, he spoke of Russia's impending invasion of Ukraine, writing in a New York Times op-ed Russian President Vladimir Putin would make the "historic mistake" of invading Ukraine.

Madeleine K. Albright is Chairwoman of the Albright Stonebridge Group, part of Dentons Global Advisors, and a professor, author, diplomat, and businesswoman who served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. 

Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012. He died on March 23, 2022.  Madeleine Korbel 

In 1997, Dr. Albright was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government history. Madeleine Korbel Albright.

As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright strengthened American alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. 

From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President's Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, he served as President of the National Policy Center. 

Previously, he was a member of President Jimmy Carter's National Security Council and a White House staffer and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.  Dr. Albright is a Professor in The Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Albright is the Chairman of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. He also chairs the National Democratic Institute, serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation, and is the Honorary Co-Chair of the World Refugee Council.

In 2021, he was appointed Chairman of the Defense Policy Council, a group tasked with providing independent and informed advice and opinions to the Secretary of Defense on defense policy issues.

Dr. Albright is a seven-time New York Times bestselling author. Her latest book, Hell and Other Destinations, was published in April 2020.

Her other books include otobiografi, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pin: Stories from the Diplomat's Jewel Box (2009); Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012), and Fascism: Memorial (2018).

Dr. Albright received a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and a Master's and Doctoral degree from Columbia University's Department of Law and Public Government, as well as a Certificate from the Russian Institute.  Yevgeny Zvedre.  The ASG family will be forever grateful for our dear friend, co-founder and co-chair, Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger (1945-2015).