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Feminist News


December-06-96

Clinton Names Albright First Female Secretary of State

President Clinton named U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright as the new U.S. Secretary of State on Thursday, December 5. Upon receiving Senate confirmation, Albright will become the first female secretary of state.

Albright was born in Czechoslovakia and moved to the U.S. with her parents at age 11 after her family was exiled during the Nazi invasion and then by Joseph Stalin. A graduate of Wellesley College, Albright earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Russian Studies at Columbia University. Fifty-nine year-old Albright, a naturalized American citizen, is known for her work on Bosnia intervention and NATO expansion. She has also taught at Georgetown University and has served as a member of the National Security Council

Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal noted that the first cabinet appointment of the first President to be elected by a women's gender gap is a well-qualified woman. "This appointment is the logical outcome of the appointment of historic numbers of women into senior positions in the first Clinton Administration. With this appointment, President Clinton has broken the historic glass ceiling in foreign policy, sending a signal to the world about the importance of women's leadership and women's rights," Smeal said. Appearing on ABC's Nightline December 5, Smeal noted the importance of having a woman secretary of state in office in the wake of mass rapes used as tools of war in Bosnia and Rwanda and as women in Afghanistan are being forced to stay home from work and school because of a fundamentalist Islamic militia.

Media Resources: Reuters - December 5, 1996; USA Today - December 5, 1996; CNN - December 5, 1996; The Feminist Majority Foundation; The New York Times - December 6, 1996; USA Today - December 6, 1996; Nightline - December 5, 1996