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 Condoleezza Rice                   
  (1954 -)

Academic, Republican politician. Born November 14, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama. The only child of a Presbyterian minister and a teacher, Rice grew up surrounded by racism in the segregated South. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Denver in 1974; her master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. She joined Stanford University as a political science professor in 1981. In 1993, she was the first woman and first African American to become a Stanford provost, a post she held for six years.

In the mid-1980s, Rice spent a period in Washington as an international affairs fellow attached to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1989, she became director of Soviet and East European affairs with the National Security Council and special assistant to George Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military. She was appointed National Security Adviser by George W. Bush in 2001, and became Secretary of State in 2004 after Colin Powell's resignation.

As Secretary of State, Rice has dedicated her department to “Transformational Diplomacy” with a mission of building and sustaining democratic, well-governed states around the world and the Middle East in particular. To that end, she has relocated American diplomats to such hardship locations as Iraq, Afghanistan and Angola and required them to become fluent in two foreign languages. She also created a high-level position to de-fragment U.S. foreign aid.

Rice's books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984)