Community & Government

Meet Your Instructors: Madeleine Albright & Condoleezza Rice

Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice discuss their personal backstories and shared history that led them to become the first woman and first African American woman secretaries of state.

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MADELEINE KORBEL ALBRIGHT: I am so grateful to be an American, and so honored to have been chosen for the job of Secretary of State. I am so deeply honored to know that I will at least be a footnote in American history. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's not simple if you're the first. There's a big portrait of Ben Franklin over the fireplace. And for one second, I kind of glanced up at that portrait of Ben Franklin, and I thought, what would old Ben have thought of this? As I walked down the hall, there were portraits of my predecessors, all of whom were men, and I thought to myself, when my portrait goes up, the walls will shake. JOHN F KENNEDY: Madeleine Albright has the strength and wisdom to help ensure that America remains the indispensable nation. - I, Madeleine Korbel Albright. To Secretary Christopher, I can only hope that my heels can fill your shoes. - The first woman to serve as America's top diplomat. MAN: Good Morning, Madam Secretary. - Hi, how are you? There's a great deal of work to be done, and I'm rolling up my sleeves. WOMAN: And the nomination is confirmed. - Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to become Secretary of State. GEORGE W BUSH: She has advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff and presidents on national security issues. She's also a concert pianist, an accomplished figure skater, and is fluent in Russian. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my dear friend, Dr. Condi Rice. - I, Condoleezza Rice, do solemnly swear. - I, Condoleezza Rice, do solemnly swear that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. WOMAN: So help me God. - So help me God. [MUSIC PLAYING] My relationship with Madeleine Albright goes well back before either of us was Secretary of State. Although we may not always agree on specific policies, our worldview was actually shaped by one man, and that would be Madeleine Albright's father. I was a failed piano major at the University of Denver. Having determined that I was about to end up teaching 13-year-olds to murder Beethoven for a living, and I needed something else, and I wandered into a course in international politics taught by a man named Josef Korbel. He was Madeleine's father, and he opened up the world to me of things diplomatic, and things Russian and Soviet. He was a great storyteller. And I often think we were taught by the same person who had a certain view about America's role in the world. - Well, it's truly a remarkable story. My father had been a Czechoslovak diplomat. He was the Czechoslovakian ambassador in Yugoslavia after the war. And I lived in the residence of an embassy, and I watched my father in terms of some of the things that he did because I was able to sneak in, and watch some of the meetings, and all the different things. And by the way, when he was ambassador, I...

About the Instructor

Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice stood toe to toe with dictators, counseled presidents, and managed to find common ground on issues that still polarize us today. Sit down with two legendary secretaries of state as they reveal how to build bridges, hold boundaries, and apply history’s lessons to everyday challenges. The class presents an intimate portrait of the late Dr. Albright’s legacy for the next generation.

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Madeleine Albright & Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice teach you to settle differences in everyday life like a diplomat.

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