Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Condoleezza Rice (2005–2009): Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice was born in 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama. She earned a B.A. in political science, with honors, from the University of Denver in 1974, an M.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1975, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies in 1981.

From 1981 to 1999, Rice served as a fellow in the arms control and disarmament program and as a tenured professor in the political science department at Stanford University. At the same time, she worked as a fellow with the Hoover Institution (national fellow, 1985-1986; senior fellow, 1991-1999) and with the Council on Foreign Relations as part of the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1986).

From 1989 to 1991, Rice served as special assistant to the President and senior director of Soviet and East European affairs for President George H.W. Bush at the National Security Council. In 1993, she became provost of Stanford University, a post she held until 1999.

In 2000, Rice served as foreign policy adviser for the George W. Bush presidential campaign. A prolific author and a member of numerous boards of directors and organizations, Condoleezza Rice entered the Bush administration in 2001 as assistant to President for national security, a position commonly known as national security adviser.

In November 2004, President Bush nominated Rice to succeed Colin Powell as secretary of state. The Senate confirmed Rice on January 26, 2005.