About Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is a US diplomat who served as the 66th US Secretary of State and is widely regarded as a role model for other African American women aspiring to professional success. Rice was the only child born to Angelena and John Wesley Rice, Jr. Angelena worked as a teacher while her father was a Presbyterian minister and high school guidance counselor. Rice grew raised in a segregated area of Alabama (Felix, 2010). She began learning music and ballet at the age of three and received piano lessons as a teenager, aspiring to be a concert pianist. Rice went to St. Mary's Academy-an all-girls Catholic school, graduating in 1971 (Rice, 2011). Rice would later study piano at the Aspen Music Festival and school prior to her enrollment at the University of Denver. It is while here that Rice realized she was not adequately talented to become a professional pianist. Rice instead decided to study international politics instructed by Josef Korbel, earning in 1974, her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in political science. She would later proceed to the University of Notre Dame graduating in 1975 with a master's degree in political science. In 1981, Rice completed her political science Ph.D from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (Ryan, 2010).
While lecturing at Stanford University, Rice would in 1984 win the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993. Rice would also become the first and youngest female African-American Provost at Stanford University (Ryan, 2011). Later in her life, Rice would rise to become the first female national security advisor as well as the first Secretary of State of African-American descent. Her parents raised her with the perception that there was nothing unattainable in life(including becoming the US President) and if she could dream it, then she would become it-no matter the obstacles and what people said or thought about her (Felix, 2010). Moreover, Rice is a hard worker, pioneer in numerous fields, humanitarian as well as winner of several awards and accomplishments has greatly contributed to the world. She is a heroine to many, not just for her outstanding accomplishments, but also for very strong and admirable moral values. Rise easily rose above the herd in spite of racial injustice that she encountered and tirelessly worked to enhance democracy and peace between countries-paving the way for future generations and encouraging them that all things are possible and can be achieved with hard work and determination irrespective of the gender or race (Shimko, 2016).
Few women especially those of color have been able to rise above the barriers surrounding them and attain accomplishments that Rice has achieved (Klenke, 2011). Rice became one of the most powerful women in global politics when in December of 2000, she was appointed by President George W. Bush as his national security adviser (Klenke, 2011). Her role turned out very crucial following the September 11, 2001 New York and the Pentagon terrorists attacks (Ryan, 2010). During her tenure Rice played a critical role in crafting the most aggressive US foreign policy in recent history, with launching of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Klenke, 2011). Moreover, Condoleezza Rice became the 1st African American to be appointed as Stanford University's provost, the first African American woman to be appointed as national security adviser as well as the second woman to hold the position. Nonetheless, what makes Rice's accomplishments astonishing is that she able to surmount the many barriers that were on her way (born in segregated Alabama) and being of African American descent (Klenke, 2011). That aside, Rice is an extraordinary woman having the exceptional stamina, intellectual capabilities as well as the spirit of a great leader. Rice as an educator is engaged and passionate, as a public administrator, she is assertive, strong and dedicated. Rice is an inspiration not only to her students, but also anyone who has the opportunity of meeting her and listening to her electrifying speeches (Felix, 2010).
Upon graduating in 1981 from her doctoral degree, Rice got a fellowship to proceed with her research at Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University. In that same year, Rice made such a big impression for the political science department faculty that she was given a post as an adjunct faculty. This marked the beginning of Rice's accomplishments and she was specifically selected since the faculty was keen on diversifying the department so as to meet the requirements of the affirmative action bill. In addition, the faculty was aware of the Rice's potential, they could not predict the brilliant future ahead of her. Rice would start in 1981 as a political science assistant professor, and nearly parallel to this event, Rice was appointed as assistant director of the Centre for International Security and Arms Control (Felix, 2010).
Rice's charm and intelligence coupled with a very strong character gained her the needed respect of students and family members. Rice is also remembered for her other leadership qualities such as perseverance, assertiveness and persuasiveness. Her main courses comprised the 3rd World, Soviet Bloc, the Politics of Alliances, and the Role of Military in Politics (Klenke, 2011). Condoleezza Rice achieved a lot during her university teaching days and she was known for recreating foreign policy decisions in sessions that required role playing to offer an appropriate understanding of the tensions, emotions and complexity involved while making foreign policy decisions. Rice is also remembered for her passion while instructing and the manner in which she was engaged in her courses (Felix, 2010).
Rice was also a famous Republican, extremely active in the community and never at any one time intended to conceal it even when during the time when academic environment was quite liberal. In addition, during this time, Rice agreed playing piano for a congregation and having been a church regular , this was her way of regaining that missing part of her life. When in 1984 her contract for assistant professorship came to an end, she got an extremely positive recommendation leading to the renewal of her contract (Bumiller, 2007). During this year, Rice was also awarded the Walter J. Gores Excellence Award in Teaching-apparently the highest honor for teaching for that school. Rice would in 1987 get a promotion to associate professorship, becoming a full professor in 1993 at the age of 38. In the same year Rice yet accomplished another feat and got the School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Rice from 1993-1999 was a provost in Standard University where she became the chief budget as well as academic officer for the university (Rice, 2011).
Apart from her academic achievements and contributions, Rice also achieved a lot politically. Thus Rice in 1980, served as an international affairs fellow linked to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1986, Rice was posted by the Council on Foreign relations to the Pentagon for one year where she enrolled for nuclear planning and got an in-depth understanding of the military personnel complex workings. Rice would in 1989 become director of Soviet and East European affairs with the National Security Council in addition to being President George H. W Bush's special assistant to German reunification and Soviet Union dissolution. Rice, would in 2001 be appointed by President George Bush as the national security adviser, becoming the 66th secretary of State following the resignation of Colin Powell. This appointment also made Rice the first African American and the second woman to hold the position (Klenke, 2011).
As National Security Advisor, Rice worked extremely hard to shape in the following months to shape the foreign policy of US. She also created a new policy for tackling with Saddam Hussein. Swift to act, Rice daringly reshaped US foreign policy by placing the needs of America first over her own. Although new on the job, and hence could have come with a myriad of complaints and just sat there whining and belligerent, Rice showed strict discipline and strong work ethics, took the challenges and went to work. At a time when a lot of people panicked, Rice fast enough discovered that considerable changes had to be attained to secure America's safety. Later as Secretary of State ( Rice served in this position from 2005-2009), she would hold meetings in 2007 with the foreign minister of North Korea, advising him to agree to new regulations to ascertain the dismantling of the state's program for nuclear weapons (Klenke, 2011).
Rice's relentless and persistent attitude for justice to prevail, has been critical in strengthening ties between the US and North Korea, in the process making the world better and more secure. Armed with a unique commitment and work ethic to go the extra mile, Rice has tirelessly worked to further goodness and peace throughout the world. Aiming to accomplish the greater good for everyone, Rice has without doubt greatly succeeded. Her determination to defend her own values, strong work ethics as we; as straightforward approach towards life are features that have shaped who Rice is today. Because Rice was seen at President Bush's side nearly on every occasion, in addition to travelling with him to his Texas ranch as well as Camp David, people perceived her as being the most powerful woman, white or black, and the most powerful African American woman serving in the US government (Ryan, 2010).
Condoleezza Rice has had a very big impact on the field of public administration and has accomplished the following. First and foremost, Rice during her term at Stanford university as provost, there was an increase in the number of black faculty from 35-38. Nevertheless, Rice drew the affirmative action line in faculty promotions claiming that merit was her only condition while making decisions on who would given tenures and promotions. Even though, several will not agree with her belief that few minority women and men have the luck of being raised in a middle-upper-class, well-educated families, Rice raises the bar so that they can prove to the world and pride themselves for their achievements (Ryan, 2010).
Rice stressed on "Transformational Diplomacy" as one of her core policy goals during her term as Secretary of State. Rice's policy entailed 5 key elements: having diplomats spend some time in such hardship locations as Sudan, Iraq, Angola and Afghanistan so that they can acquire expertise in a minimum of 2 regions, and learn 2 foreign languages like Urdu, Arabic and Chinese, concentrating on local solutions to issues such as diseases, drug trafficking and terrorism, developing a high-impact post(Director of Foreign Assistance) tasked with overseeing foreign aid, hence de-fragmenting the foreign assistance given by the US (Rice, 2011). Rice also worked with other nations on a bilateral basis to assist them in building an enhanced infrastructure, and reducing the dependence of foreign countries on America's assistance and hand-outs. According to Rice, these measures were aimed at helping maintain security, fighting poverty, and making radical democratic reforms, in those nations and would assist in enhancing foreign countries' economic, legal, educational and healthcare systems (Rice, 2011).
The other key aspect of Transformational Diplomacy that Rice emphasized on was looking for regional solutions. In this, the diplomat pressed on looking for transnational solutions and she claimed that in the 21st century, there was increased regional integration in terms of economies, politics and cultures-leading to the creation of not only new opportunities, but also emergence of new challenges, particularly from transformational threats such as proliferation of weapons and terrorism, trafficking of people, diseases and drug smuggling (Klenke, 2011). Rice's mission was pegged on building and sustaining well governed countries world over, particularly in the Middle East. Consequently, she relocated American diplomats to such regions as Iraq, Angola and Afghanistan. Moreover, Rice formed a top position to de-fragment foreign aid given out by the US. As the top diplomat in the US, Rice realized changes in the world and formed reforms within the Foreign Service, posting additional diplomats in Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Brazil and just a few to comfortable jobs in Berlin, Rome and Paris (Klenke, 2011). Rice using her persuasiveness was able to raise money from Congress to hire more diplomatic staff. Rice demonstrated unmatched reverence for the profession service, something that has been difficult to match. Moreover, even in hard times, she was positive and her confidence and strength are so inspiring (Klenke, 2011).
Moreover, Rice visited more countries than any of her forerunners and according to the State Department Website, she visited 83 nations during 80 trips and logged over 1 million miles on her diplomatic endeavors. Rice achieved a lot and met with America's long-established allies including even one time enemies. She made history as America's first Secretary of State to visit Libya in over 50 years and she handled new issues, fundamentally launching a widespread Bush administration strategy aimed at spreading democracy, an endeavor focused particularly at the moderate Arab countries of the Middle East ( Klenke, 2011).
Rice also has many publications to her name. Her first publication was "Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army", published in 1984 followed by "The Gorbachev Era" which she co-authored with Alexander Dallin in 1986. Another publication with Philip Zelikow was published in 1995 titled " Germany Unified and Europe Transformed". The other significant contribution made by Rice to Public Administration includes serving as an inspiration and example to charter a path for all women from minority backgrounds. Normally, minority women are not largely represented in top leadership. Rice has not only proved that it is not impossible to reach the very top but also that women from minority backgrounds can be intelligent, assertive and well educated leaders (Felix, 2010).
In 2004, Rice overturned racial stereotypes upside down while testifying before the National Commission on Terrorism leading to The New York Post labeling her "The Lady is a Champ". Rice won many hearts and accolades and the Chicago Tribune claimed that Bush had good reasons for praising her, since she was definitely a performer. According to the panel, Rice expertly answered the tough questions, remaining on point via firm repetition and even expertly pulling out a rhetorical trick or 2. Thus, although racists perceive African Americans as inadequate, and inarticulate, Rice through her sterling performance gave her their respect as an extremely intelligent woman, and a perfect model of composure and dignity (Ryan, 2010).
Through every adversity and struggle that she went through and overcame, Rice come out a better and stronger person. Rice once claimed that her parents were concerned to give her a head start in life, maybe too concerned, nonetheless, they somehow brought up their daughter in Jim Crow Alabama to be of the belief that although she could not get a hamburger at lunch counter of Woolworth, she had the potential of becoming the President of the US (Rice, 2011).
Rice's accomplishments are important from the viewpoint of women and alaso from the viewpoints of other interest groups, minorities, LGBTQ community and so forth especially because of being able to break the glass ceiling that appears so hard to shutter due to the existing societal prejudices. Rice's accompishments give them hope and many of the minority groups give her credit for her position. Nonetheless, there are those that believe she is not a very good role model becase she comes from a privilged background. Although Rice was raised in the middle of the civil rights movement in Birmingham (2 or 3 blocks from the Baptist Church bombing), listening to her story regarding how she was taught the clasics by her mother rather than having her go out and march and thus identify with other blacks (not that she need be at the center or front) makes many minority groups not identify with her (Klenke, 2011).
Thus, many of them are not proud to learn that she was raised act the epicenter of the civil rights movement where an extremely important act occured and the only thing highlighted about her is that she was inside the house being taught the Classics, piano, and how to speak French and Russian. On the same vein, other people think that, she was sheltered and never experienced what other African Americans went through. Her isolation-either of her upbringing or her own doing-coupled with her conceived distance from these actions makes her appear inaunthentic (Ryan, 2010).
In recent times, Rice has been involved in various advocacy, leadership and inspirational roles. On issues to do with same-sex couples, marriages and LGBT issues, Rice categorically stated that she is not pro-gay, neither is she a supporter of civil unions. Rice in 2010, stated that she is of the belief that marriage should be between a woman and man. However she was quick to add that some way needs to be found somehow for individuals to express their desire of living together in a civil union (Ryan, 2010).
Rice together with Darla Moore-South Carolina businesswoman, in August 2012 became the first women ever to at the same time be admitted into Augusta National Golf Club, situated in Augusta, Georgia as members. Their admission was monumental especially since he club since its inception in 1933, has notoriously been famous for its blatant refusal of admitting women and had an all-male membership. On 29th August, 2012, a few days later, Rice turned up at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, drumming up support for Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney-2012 election candidates for Republican party (Shimko, 2016).
During the convention's second day, Rice deloved an electrifying speech that elicited a lot of positive media interest. In her speech, Rice narrated how her father thought she may be the US president. Nonetheless, she is content that her father would have approved her being the Secreatary of State. Rice further explained that she is a foreign policy personality and to have had an opportunity to have served her country as the chief diplomat at a period of consequence and peril would have been enough for her father (Shimko, 2016).
Rice has been advocate for female empowerment and appeared in March 2014 in video spots for the campaign of Ban Bossy-a social media and television campaign developed to get rid of the phrase "bossy" from common use due to its damaging effect on teenage girls. There were numerous video spots produced featuring other prominent spokespersosn such as Jennifer Garner, Beyonce together with other celebrities alongside a web site offering leadership tips, school training material, as well as an online promise form to which visitors can pledge to stop using the word in their conversations 9Shimko, 2016).
In spite of all her achievements, Rice has been greatly criticised and in 2014, for instance, she was forced to pull out of giving the commencement speech at Rutgers University following protests from the students and Professor Rudy Bell. Professor Bell claimed that whereas it would be proper to have Rice speak in Campus, as an aspect of academic debate, nonetheless, she is not suitable as a commencement speaker due to the role she played in administration that indiscrminately launched a destructive and illegal war, in addition to practising torture (Shimko, 2016).
Rice has also been labelled a war criminal as far as international law is concerned. Pundits claim that she was a main architect in launching a war that contravened the UN charter, which stipultes that employment of force against another nation should come either as a way of self-defense following an attack or be sanctioned by the UN Security Council (for instance the Gulf War, Libya and Afghanistan). Moreover, there was no big international organization that backed the war in Iraq including America's NATO allies that were nearly collectively opposed (with the exception of the UK and few Eastern European additions, who cooperated with Bush) to the war (Shimko, 2016).
Rice not only spearhead an illegal invasion and occupation, but did so based on a set of lies. Rice retailed 56 different lies to the US people and warned of Iraq's (non-existent) nuclear artillery program, while all the timeshe had intelligence that opposed her reasons for war, nonetheless, she forcefully made a case for Iraq invasion and occupation. Rice even made the American people believe that weak, poor, ramshackle Iraq, devoid of a naval or air force and weakened by severe economic sanctions for more than 10 years, posed a serious threat to the US (Shimko, 2016).
Surmounting obstacles and rising to the helm are hallmarks of a strong and great leader. Leaders should be determined, strong willed, self-confident and impactful (Klenke, 2011). All the above traits can be used in describing Condoleezza Rice. Although she faced setbacks during her tenure as Secretary of State during the administration of George Bush, Rice always tackled everything with a calm and confident demeanor (Klenke, 2011). Rice was determined to succeed, open to experience and was extremely intelligent and knowledgeable in foreign policy. Rice listened to the needs of the American people and especially those around her and was instrumental in influencing a big amount of transformation (Shimko, 2016).
When her time in politics was over, Rice helped in co-founding Center for New Generation (CNG)-an after school enrichment program situated in East Palo Alto, California, aimed at helping underprivileged children discover their full potential and transform into responsible, caring and productive citizens (Shimko, 2016). Rice is also Stanford's political professor and has been awarded on several occasions during her tenure there. She also serves on the boards of Dropbox-an online storage firm and Makena Capital-a private endowment company (Shimko, 2016). Rice is also a member of the boards of the Commonwealth Club, George W. Bush Institute, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Aspen Institute. Having surmounted numerous trials and tribulations while growing up and being extremely successful during her tenure as Secretary of State, all goes to prove what a great, influential and powerful leader Condoleezza Rice was and still is. Rice's drive, self-confidence, and intelligence are admirable traits, making her a role model and someone to look up to.

Works Cited
Bumiller, Elisabeth. Condoleezza Rice: An American Life : a Biography. New York: Random House, 2007. Print.
Felix, Antonia. Condi: The Condoleezza Rice Story. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.
Klenke, Karin. Women in Leadership: Contextual Dynamics and Boundaries. Bradford: Emerald Group Pub, 2011. Internet resource.
Rice, Condoleezza. Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2011. Print.
Ryan, Bernard. Condoleezza Rice. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010.
Shimko, Keith. International Relations: Perspectives, Controversies and Readings. New York: Cengage Brain, 2016.

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