Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954) was the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of President George W. Bush to hold the office. Rice was the first black woman, second African American (after her predecessor Colin Powell, who served from 2001 to 2005), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright, who served from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration) to serve as Secretary of State. Rice was President Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. During the administration of George H.W. Bush, Rice served as the Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
When beginning as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered a policy of Transformational Diplomacy, with a focus on democracy in the greater Middle East. Her emphasis on supporting democratically elected governments faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections yet supported Islamist militance, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with US support. While Secretary of State, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s board of directors.