In Memoriam: Madeleine Albright, 1937-2022

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to hold the post of Secretary of State and a long-time faculty member at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., died on March 23. She was 84 years old and suffered from cancer.

A native of Prague, Albright and her family fled what was then Czechoslovakia after the Nazis invaded the country. She grew up in Yugoslavia and came to the United States to study at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Columbia University.

After serving in the Carter administration, Dr. Albright joined the faculty at Georgetown University in 1982. She served as the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service. She was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation from 1993 to 1997 and was appointed Secretary of State in 1997.

At the time of her passing, Dr. Albright was the chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She also chaired the National Democratic Institute, served as the president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, and was an honorary co-chair of the World Refugee Council. In 2021, she was appointed chair of the Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy.

“We honor the life of Madeleine Albright — a leader who served not only our nation but our world,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “Since she first joined our faculty in 1982, we have been honored by her leadership in our university community. She has inspired generations of students to pursue careers in public service and diplomacy. We remember her as a distinguished public servant, a groundbreaking leader, a devoted professor, and a seasoned diplomat who has demonstrated her visionary leadership on complex international issues.”

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