About SJ

Dr. Madeleine Albright

Portrait by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
“The Courage to Listen”
Maintaining civility in discourse, discussion, and decision-making in the years ahead

The Saint John's Coaches' Pavilion was packed with over 1,000 students, faculty, and guests on January 23, 2013 when former Secretary of State and UN Ambassador Professor Madeleine K. Albright addressed the Saint John's community. Small in stature but commanding in presence and wit, Dr. Albright expressed her gratitude for being extended the invitation to come to Saint John's and interact with the students and guests.

In addition to calling all students to strive to seek the truth in the face of bias and informed decisions in a divided world, Dr. Albright challenged the audience to actively listen. She shared her own experiences growing up in Prague and London as a child of both WWII and the Cold War before moving to the United States, her ever-changing definition of truth and understanding, and her long career as a public servant and diplomat to express the theme of her talk. She spoke of the importance of being open to the opinions of others in search of solutions to any problems one may encounter in life. Dr. Albright hosted a Question and Answer session with current students, whose questions ranged from her personal forays into various diplomatic issues like humanitarian intervention in third world countries to her own inspirations and influences throughout her career.

Find photos of Madeleine Albright's visit to Saint John's here.

A pioneer herself, Madeleine Albright blazed an unprecedented path in American politics when she became the highest-ranking woman in U.S. history up to that point, and continues to make history and affect change as a professor, chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project, and on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board. In addition to claiming the title as first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright also made Saint John's history as the first woman to speak in the Abdella Center for Ethics Lecture series.

The Saint John's Model United Nations Club celebrated its 40th Anniversary at the school in conjunction with Dr. Albright's visit. She surprised the SJMUN with an impromptu meet and greet with students and alumni before her talk. See photos here.

Dr. Madeleine K. Albright was ambassador to the United Nations from 1991 until 1997, when she became Secretary of State during the Clinton administration until 2001. She was the first woman to hold that office. Dr. Albright has also served on the National Security Council. She is currently a Professor of International Relations at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In May of 2012, Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In addition to her decades of work in the international diplomacy field, Dr. Albright has published multiple books, which include The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, published in 2006, and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012).

“A wise and thoughtful leader, Albright shares piercing
insights about the most vital and profound issues facing America and the world.”
                                                             - Vaclav Havel
“She writes with uncommon frankness and good sense about America’s international role, religion, ethics, and the current divided and anxious state of the world...In my experience, the only way to avoid stepping on toes is to stand still. Madeleine Albright is the embodiment of forward movement.”
                                                                         - President Bill Clinton