Welcome to our collection of quotes by Madeleine Albright.
Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937) is an American politician and diplomat who served as the first female United States Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.
Albright emigrated with her family to the United States in 1948 from Czechoslovakia. Her father, diplomat Josef Korbel, settled the family in Denver, Colorado, and she became a U.S. citizen in 1957.
Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959 and earned a PhD from Columbia University in 1975, writing her thesis on the Prague Spring. She worked as an aide to Senator Edmund Muskie before taking a position under Zbigniew Brzezinski on the National Security Council. She served in that position until 1981, when President Jimmy Carter left office.
After leaving the National Security Council, Albright joined the academic faculty of Georgetown University and advised Democratic candidates regarding foreign policy. After Clinton's victory in the 1992 presidential election, Albright helped assemble his National Security Council. In 1993, Clinton appointed her to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She held that position until 1997, when she succeeded Warren Christopher as Secretary of State. Albright served in that capacity until Clinton left office in 2001.
Albright has served as chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group since 2009. She is the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. In May 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama. Secretary Albright serves on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations.
There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.
Take it from someone who fled the Iron Curtain: I know what happens when you give the Russians a green light.
A skilled diplomat rarely generates extreme reactions.
As strong as the United States is, we can't deal with terrorism alone.
While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile.
If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.
People are finding it harder and harder to relate to foreign policy.
Life is grim, and we don't have to be grim all the time.
We live in an image society. Speeches are not what anybody cares about; what they care about is the picture.
Well, the thing that I learned as a diplomat is that human relations ultimately make a huge difference.
I think women are really good at making friends and not good at networking. Men are good at networking and not necessarily making friends. That's a gross generalization, but I think it holds in many ways.
The greatest thrill in my life was to represent the United States of America.
Whatever the job you are asked to do at whatever level, do a good job because your reputation is your resume.
China is in its own category -- too big to ignore, too repressive to embrace, difficult to influence, and very, very proud.
When Hillary served as Secretary of State, I watched her partner with President Obama to restore our country's reputation around the world.
I wasn't a normal professor. I had worked in government. I hadn't written nine zillion books. I was a hands-on professor.
For somebody who loves foreign policy, being Secretary is the best job in the world -- but it doesn't happen twice.
To be safe at the expense of the liberty of other people is a difficult equation.
And frankly, I don't understand -- I mean, I'm obviously a card-carrying Democrat -- but I can't understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.
I spent my life studying communism and Soviet systems.
History is written backwards but lived forwards.
When we're trying to solve difficult national issues its sometimes necessary to talk to adversaries as well as friends. Historians have a word for this: diplomacy.
What you have to be concerned about are the extremists. On the whole, we need to understand the more moderate Muslims before they become more radicalized.
When trouble arises among faraway people, we remain tempted to hide behind the principle of national sovereignty, to mind our own business when it is convenient, and to think of democracy as a suit to be worn in fine weather but felt in the closet when clouds threaten.
The purpose of foreign policy is to persuade others to do what we want or, better yet, to want what we want.
I do consider myself a feminist. I know the word has weird implications for people now, but I do think that its important to have women involved, whether its business or public service or...anything.
I have always seen the United States as a force of good. And I have learned that there is the idealistic part about what we can do at the U.N. and there is a doable part. And I have learned what is more doable.
For me, America is really, truly the indispensable nation.
So there really was a whole series of things that took the women of my generation a little bit of time to push forward.
I'm for democracy, but imposing democracy is an oxymoron. People have to choose democracy, and it has to come up from below.
I am the only high-ranking U.S. official to ever meet with Kim Jong-il, and we are the same height and both wear high heels.
To be defenseless did not mean to be without honor.
The religious scholars I have consulted are passionate about the need for political leaders to educate themselves in the varieties of faith and to see religion more as a potential means for reconciliation than as a source of conflict.
I do not believe that things happen accidentally; I believe you earn them.
Mahmoud Abbas is a puppet.
As you go along your own road in life, you will, if you aim high enough, also meet resistance... But no matter how tough the opposition may seem, have courage still and persevere.
The reason I made women's issues central to American foreign policy, was not because I was a feminist, but because we know that societies are more stable if women are politically and economically empowered.
There are an awful lot of things going on that need understanding and explanation, but -- to put it mildly -- the world is a mess.
For me, being raised in a free America made all the difference.
The other thing that happened was that we have a tendency to project our own weaknesses onto another woman. I don't think men do that particularly.
The administration does not agree with those who suggest we should deploy hundreds of thousands of American troops to engage militarily in a ground war in Iraq.
Armageddon is not a foreign policy.
Really, I have to laugh because there was a whole set of stories that made me sound like the Dragon Lady, you know, 'tough this and tough that.' Then there is this business about 'gooey.' The bottom line is I am a pragmatic idealist.
When Hillary was First Lady, we went to the Beijing Women's Conference. She courageously stood up and spoke out on behalf of human rights and women's rights, inspiring millions to fight for a better future.
Every new president inherits headaches, but President Obama has inherited an entire emergency room.
I loved being Secretary of State, that's probably evident to everyone who watched me.
People didn't think that a woman could be the Secretary of State, when my name was out there...but then the Arab Ambassadors at the UN said 'We have no problem dealing with Ambassador Albright, and we would have no problem dealing with Secretary Albright.'
It is an unfortunate fact that in many parts of the world women are considered property. An awful lot of injustice is obviously due to that; not just women's status in the home, but all kinds of laws that are even more discriminating.
Libraries are fun, educational, and the biggest bargain on the face of the earth.
I get up every morning and I'm grateful for everything that has happened. I go through my list about being grateful for my children and grandchildren, and for the really remarkable life that I have been able to have.
I don't actually believe in a clash of civilizations. I believe in a clash of the civilized and the noncivilized.
I was struck by the joy of those pilots in committing coldblooded murder ... Frankly, this is not cojones. This is cowardice.
The main thing is to remain oneself, under any circumstances; that was and is our common purpose.
We have to understand where we have strategic relationships that require us to take a different approach. I guess the easiest way to describe it is: different strokes for different folks.
There were always jokes about Hillary Clinton channeling Eleanor Roosevelt, but Eleanor Roosevelt was really instrumental at the UN, and would want to meet with various other delegates.
I can't see democracy occurring by force -- after an Iraqi war, because of the fallout from that.
What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.
I have very set and consistent principles, but I am flexible on tactics. I like to get the job done.
A spoonful of sugar can be as helpful in dealing with foreign diplomats as it is in child psychology, for these are not unrelated fields.
Glass ceilings have been broken, but more have to be broken.
US is a very religious country. Separation of church and state is part of our credo, but that it is hard to understand since our money says In God we trust and every President says God bless America.
The stunning part was that one time Neil McElroy the Secretary of Defense who was the father of one of our classmates spoke and basically at commencement, he told us all that our job after graduation was to get married and have interesting sons...and we all found that hard to believe.
I think there has to be the sense that once you have climbed the ladder of success, that you don't push it away from the building.
Today, I say that no nation in the world need be left out of the global system we are constructing.
It takes more than one dove to make peace in the Middle East.
When combined with information and communication technologies, microcredit can unleash new opportunities for the world's poorest entrepreneurs and thereby revitalize the village economies they serve.
The bottom line is, the more we have a cadre of women moving up the scale, and it doesn't seem threatening, and people realize that women actually work much harder than men, and realize that they need more women in these jobs, I think that goes away.
The process of education in the oldest profession in the world is like any other educational process, in that it requires time andeffort and patience; it can only be acquired by taking one step at a time, though the steps become accelerated after the first few.
Only in America could a refugee girl from Central Europe become Secretary of State.
I was not at all apprehensive about ... disease ... it had no terrors for me. The thing I most feared in the world was hunger. That was something of which I had personal knowledge.
I'm a problem-solver.
There's nobody who's had a resume like Hillary Clinton that's run for president.
I bought ... the pins with my three daughters in mind; the ships are beautiful, graceful, and moving along at full sail, having long since left home port.
I consider it my patriotic duty as an ordinary citizen -- not as Secretary of State -- to ask questions. I think we have to ask ourselves the tough questions.
I think that the Middle East is the largest piece of unfinished business that we all have. I happen to believe in the democratization process.
In diplomacy, clear-cut wins and losses are rare.
We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.
I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important.
And so I think that the idea of America working with other countries to solve problems is good for us, and it is part of digging us out of the my way or the highway approach that was evident in the previous eight years.
My deepest regret from my years in public service is the failure of the United States and the international community to act sooner to halt these crimes.
John Kerry actually stole my line because when I became Secretary of State, I said, 'I hope my heels will fill Warren Christopher's shoes.' So he reversed that.
John Kerry knows more about more subjects than an awful lot of people. But I think it's a very hard job Secretary of State.
We don't understand enough about the Islam religion and Muslim world.
The system President Hosni Mubarak is recommending would make it virtually impossible for truly independent parties to participate. Sham democracy should be exposed for what it truly is.
The capability of negotiating... is something that means you not only have to understand fully what you believe and what your national interests are but in order to be a really good negotiator, you have to try to figure out what the other person on the other side of the table has in mind.
Don't make me into this airy-fairy, moralist, idealist because I'm not.
When Hillary served in the Senate, I saw her work day and night as a member of the Armed Services Committee -- working with Republicans and Democrats to keep our military strong and protect our troops and their families.
Unfortunately for the Iraqi people, instead of meeting these requirements, for six years, Saddam Hussein has lied, delayed, obstructed and tried to deceive.
I enjoy wearing pins, and nobody tells me to do it.
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