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Pepperdine Hosts Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (2005-2009)

Condoleezza Rice visited Pepperdine University on Wednesday, Feb. 9, to share insights from her life and career in two special events at the Malibu campus.

First, she presented “Foreign Policy in a Post-9/11 World” to a crowd of more than 600 in the Henry J. and Gloria Caruso Auditorium at the School of Law. The conversation-- with Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper and Gregory S. McNeal, moderated by Colleen P. Graffy—touched on current issues in national security. Rice drew upon her experiences as the first female to hold the position of National Security Advisor, from 2001-2005, and from her time as the U.S. Secretary of State from 2005-2009. 

“Remarks by Condoleezza Rice” followed at 7 p.m. in Elkins Auditorium, as part of the W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture was followed by a Q&A and book signing of Rice’s recently-published memoir, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010).

Thomas Bost, dean of the School of Law, notes that “Dr. Rice brought a most extraordinary background and perspective to her presentations at Pepperdine. Her afternoon conversation concerning United States foreign policy not only reflected her exemplary background as scholar, teacher, academic leader, and humanitarian, but also her years of effective service to our country at the very highest levels during a crucial period in the nation’s history.”

Rice is a professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science, at Stanford University.

From January 2005 to 2009, she served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States. Before serving as America’s chief diplomat, she served as assistant to the president for national security affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to 2005.

Rice joined the Stanford University faculty as a professor of political science in 1981 and served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999. She was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1991 to 1993 and returned to the Hoover Institution after serving as provost until 2001. As a professor, Rice won two of the highest teaching honors: the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

She is the author of Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (October 2010), which shares how her upbringing in segregated Birmingham, Alabama—along with her strong, caring family and parents—helped to shape the course of her life. She has also authored and co-authored several other books, including Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995), with Philip Zelikow; The Gorbachev Era (1986), with Alexander Dallin; and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).

Rice served as a member of the boards of directors for the Chevron, Charles Schwab, and Transamerica corporations. She was a founding board member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California, and was vice president of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. She currently serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Rice has been involved in a number of humanitarian pursuits, most notably with PEPFAR (The President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) and in creating and serving on the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Both endeavors increased aid to developing countries and the world's poorest, most disadvantaged populations. PEPFAR was the largest commitment of funds from any single nation to combat a single disease at any time in history and the Millennium Challenge Corporation promotes sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

She currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, 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.

For more information about “Foreign Policy in a Post-9/11 World” at the law school, contact Morgan Thrower or visit the website. For more information about the W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture, “Remarks by Condoleezza Rice,” at Seaver College, contact Katy Carr at (310) 506-6084 or visit the W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series website.