Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954) is the 66th United
States Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of
President George W. Bush to hold the office. Rice is the first
black woman, second African American (after Colin Powell, who
served before her from 2001 to 2005), and second woman (after
Madeleine Albright who served from 1997 to 2001) to serve as
Secretary of State. Rice was President Bush's National Security
Advisor during his first term, but before joining the Bush
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 also 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 Palestine yet supported Islamist terror, and
influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained
non-democratic systems with U.S. support. Her policies and strong
diplomatic style gained her recognition as a powerful leader by
mainstream media. She chairs the Millennium Challenge Corporation's
board of directors.