November 16, 2004:
On this day George W. Bush named Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State. By doing so, she became the first Black woman ever to hold that position.
Condoleezza Rice (/ˌkɒndəˈliːzə/; born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American Secretary of State, as well as the second African-American Secretary of State (after Colin Powell), and the second female Secretary of State (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position.
Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up while the South was racially segregated. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver and her master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame. In 1981 she received a PhD from the School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She worked at the State Department under the Carter administration and pursued an academic fellowship at Stanford University, where she later served as provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and Eastern Europe Affairs Advisor to President George H. W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification from 1989 to 1991. On December 17, 2000, she left her position and joined the Bush administration as National Security Advisor. In Bush’s second term, she became Secretary of State.
Following her confirmation as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy directed toward expanding the number of responsible democratic governments in the world and especially in the Greater Middle East. That policy faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems (with U.S. backing). While in the position, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation‘s board of directors.
In March 2009, Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. In September 2010, she became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.
She is on the Board of Directors of Dropbox and Makena Capital Management, LLC