The first ever female secretary of State of the United States of America and the highest ranking female to hold office in the federal government Madeleine Albright, is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women ever in the political history of the United States of America. (Washington post). The purpose of this paper is to study the life and accomplishments of Madeleine Albright as well as her contributions to the American society. Madeleine Albright is a proven leader and by studying her we will be able to know what characteristics one must have to be an effective leader, we shall also be able to better understand the concept of equality and that females are also capable of being great leaders.
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Madeleine Albright was exposed to politics at a very early age in her life, she lived in Prague and during that time her father was working for the Czech government. Later when she grew up Madeleine Albright later came to the United States at the age of eleven. It was during her stay in the United States that Madeleine Albright decided to pursue a political science degree. She majored in political science and she was then able to graduate with honors at the Wellesley College. After graduating from college she would want to further pursue her studies and she indeed was later able to study at the John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and also at the Columbia University’s Russian Institute. She was able to receive certificates after studying in these schools. Much later in her life, Secretary Albright was able to receive her masteral and doctorate’s degrees from the Department of Public Law and Government of Columbia University.(State Department) Indeed Secretary Albright has had a very colorful academic career; therefore as we could see from her academic background, I think we could all agree that Secretary Albright is well equipped with knowledge on politics more than qualified to be an effective political figure.
The majors and courses she took up both in her undergraduate and post graduate studies are all related to politics and indeed act as an essential foundation for the colorful political career she would later come face to face with. Madeleine Albright also came from a political family and was exposed to the colorful world of politics at an early age. Her father who works for the Czech government may probably be one of her early inspirations for her. Her father may have also shared some experiences with her which is probably why she is well versed in politics and has such a deep understanding of it. Having so much background in politics have helped her become such a charismatic leader.
Before being selected as secretary of state by former United States President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright was first nominated for the prestigious role of being the United State’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Asides from this Madeleine Albright also used to be a member of the cabinet as well being a part of the National Security Council during the regime of former United States President Bill Clinton. Not only this, Secretary Albright also used to be the president of the Center for National Policy. Add to this long list of achievements, Secretary Albright also used to be the director for women in the Foreign Service program and was also a research professor of international affairs at the Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
She was also able to teach various subjects including Russian foreign policy, U.S. Foreign policy and Central and Eastern European politics. As an educator, it shows that Secretary Albright indeed has a strong passion for public service and servitude of the people. I also show that Secretary Albright has the ability to be an effective speaker and has the power to communicate with people effectively. Asides from all these, being an educator also shows us that Secretary Albright is capable of imparting to people the message she wants clearly and that she is a person with excellent communication skills. Add to this the carious positions he held with the government, having served the government proves that Madeleine Albright indeed has a strong passion for public service as well as love for the nation. An effective leader must not only know how to communicate well but also needs to have the ability to show care for his people in order to be successful. Having held several positions with the United States government has also helped Secretary Albright gain the necessary knowledge and skill to be an effective leader.
As Discussed earlier Secretary Albright have served the public on different government positions for several years. During her stay in public service Madeleine Albright became well known as an excellent communicator as well as for her outstanding ability of being able to strengthen the relationship of the United States of America with other economies. During her tenure as the secretary of state Madeleine Albright was said to have contributed a lot to the nation of United States of America. One of this is when Secretary Albright was said to have strengthened the United States policy in the Middle East as well as in nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not only was this but Secretary Albright also acted as the representative of the United States of America during the July 1, 1997 turnover of Hong Kong from the British government to the Chinese government. (CNN). As said earlier Secretary Albright is well known for being an excellent speaker. One of the more famous speeches she gave out was a speech in 1998 during the fiftieth anniversary of NATO. In this summit Secretary Albright emphasized on what was later to be known as the three D’s of NATO.
These three D’s are no diminution of NATO, no discrimination and no duplication. (UISA Washington File). As we could see from all these information, Secretary Albright indeed was able to represent effectively the United States of America in several occasions. This then indeed proves that Secretary Albright not only has the gifted skill of being able to maintain good relations with other key economic partners of the United States of America but she is also a very charismatic and effective communicator. .
Being the first female Secretary of State in a nation with very few female leaders made Secretary Albright even more popular. Because of this Madeleine Albright was very charismatic especially to the media and the female population. This is why being a powerful female in the government has helped her garner the power to attract the attention as well as the sympathy of the female population of the United States of America. .
Madeleine Albright is also well known for being able to play with the media very well. She is also known to have used several media devices to advocate her work and deliver her messages. Madeleine Albright is also considered by many to be a very charming and charismatic figure to the media; she was even dubbed as being media savvy by media giants such as Newsweek and Times magazine. Being the first woman to be the secretary of state and the most powerful female ever to hold office with the government, Madeleine Albright became one of media’s darlings. Before her political career, Secretary Albright also used to work with PBS as an analyst of the Macneil/Lehrer news hour; this was before she became the United States ambassador to the United Nations. What this means is that Madeleine Albright has had experience with the media industry which is probably why she is able to fully understand them and why she knows how to handle them properly. Unfortunately, Secretary Albright could also sometimes be somewhat radical and controversial with her comments and may sometimes leave controversial remarks to news reporters; however the media sometimes love to hear these anyway. An example would be her commenting and taunting of Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro. Despite this, there are still a lot of news commentators that absolutely adore Madeleine Albright, this is especially true the more liberal media people. Christopher Mathews, a columnist once even dubbed Albrights promotion as a “tonic to the country’s mood. Madeleine Albright is also loved by female journalists since her ascension to secretary of state is considered by many to be a breakthrough for feminism in the country.. Albright is also well known for understanding the importance of the media and knows how to handle them properly. An example would be when she was delegated to the secretary of state office and she said that CNN is the “ 16th member of the security council.” (Solomon, N. 2000)
Like earlier mentioned, Madeleine Albright was from Prague in the Czech Republic, this is the reason as to why she is not only familiar with American culture but she is also adept with European culture as well. This could probably be one of the reasons why she was elected as the representative to the United Nations by the United States government. Madeleine Albright also used to be the foreign policy advisor to former US presidential candidate Michael Dukakis as well as for former vice president nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Being secretary of state she was also able to meet various leaders from other nations like North Korea’s Kim Jong-il and represent the United States of America in several occasions. The reason is because Secretary Albright is indeed very adept at foreign relations given her academic background as well as her colorful political career which may be why she is trusted with these very important international responsibilities. Not only is she familiar with various European cultures and but she is also multilingual. She could speak English, French, Czech and Russian. She is also familiar with German, Polish and Serbo-Croatian.
Because of Madeleine Albright being an excellent speaker, she was able to give out a lot of speeches and most of them have even been quoted. She was also made famous for most of what she said. Unfortunately, sometimes her being too outspoken has hurt her. Since she is a woman, Secretary Albright was also very popular with feminists groups, And being Czech, she became also very popular in her home country in Czech and was even once considered to be a nominee for presidency there. Secretary Albright is also a master of several languages; this is a very useful tool for a profession such as hers. Because of her frequent visits to nations that may have leaders that are not adept with the English language, with her knowledge of different languages she could easily overcome these cultural barriers. Mot only this but this also helps her image of being culturally diversified.
With all these information, indeed we could say that Madeleine Albright is a very charismatic leader as well as an excellent icon for women. Secretary Albright has also held several positions that deal with international relations and is indeed already a very experienced leader. This paper was written in order to show that women could also be as effective if not better leaders as men. I also want to show how great a leader Madeleine Albright was and how important her election as secretary of state was to the history of the United States of America. Her being placed into office has opened the doors for future female leaders. We were also able to learn that being a good speaker as well as being charismatic to the media is important for a leader to succeed.
Solomon, N. (2000) Media Infatuated with Madeleine Albright. Retrieved February 11, 2008 from http://www.alternet.org/story/6235/
CNN. (1997). CNN boycott seating of new legislature. Retrieved February 11, 2008 from
The State Department. (2001) Madeleine Albright biography. Retrieved February 11, 2008 from http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/biography/albright.html
Washington Post. Madeleine K Albright biography. Retrieved February 11 2008 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/admin/albright.htm
USIS Washington File (1998). Albright Press Conference at NATO Headquarters. Retrieved February 11, 2008 from http://www.fas.org/man/nato/news/1998/98120904_tlt.html
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