Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Madeleine Albright (1997–2001): Secretary of State

Madeleine Albright became the nation's first female secretary of state, holding that position in Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001. During Clinton's first term, Albright was the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations (1993-1997), serving as a member of both the cabinet and the National Security Council (NSC).

Previous experience in the White House included serving as a staff member on the NSC and as White House staffer responsible for foreign policy legislation, both from 1978 to 1981. From 1976 to 1978, Albright was the chief legislative assistant to Senator Edmund S. Muskie.

Albright has also been a research professor of international affairs and director of the Women in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Immediately prior to joining the Clinton administration, Albright was president of the Center for National Policy.

Madeleine Albright was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She received a B.A. with honors from Wellesley College, a certificate from the Russian Institute at Columbia University, and her master's and doctorate from Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government.