Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State
During President George W. Bush’s administration, Dr. Rice was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor and the first African-American female to hold the role of Secretary of State. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Dr. Rice was Provost and a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, where she is currently on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Rice was born and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, as the only child of a high school teacher and a Presbyterian minister. She initially trained to become a concert pianist, and continues to enjoy playing and performing to this day, including at diplomatic events, among them a performance for Queen Elizabeth.
"I was president of the family. I was president of the family from very young. I think I was about four when I was first elected. You see, we didn’t have term limits. I knew that my mother was going to vote for me every time. I wasn’t so sure about my father, but it was a secret ballot so it didn’t matter. I won every time. There were actually responsibilities as a part of being president. I organized family meetings. When we were about to take a family trip, for instance, I would call a meeting. What time we were going to leave? What kind of food are we going to prepare? So I had real responsibility.”
"We owe so much to our parents’ generation, because they had every reason to be beaten down, so to speak, by what they saw. Every day the humiliations of segregation. Every day the negative messages of segregation. And yet they lived lives of dignity. They lived productive lives. In my little community, the teachers were people who expected the best of their students. There were no excuses and there were no victims. In this place where you could have quite easily felt a victim and therefore felt that you’d lost control of your life, they always told you, ‘If you are twice as good, if you worked hard, if you get an education, if you speak the language well, if you’re true to faith and family and community, then you may not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your reaction to your circumstances and you can still have a productive life.’”
CBN, Photograph by Timothy White