born 1954

Condoleezza Rice grew up in one of the most segregated cities in the US. But her parents ~ teachers who believed in the transformative power of education ~ convinced her she could be anything she wanted to be. Though Condi's early ambition was to be a pro pianist, in college she discovered a passion for political science that set her on a path to becoming a celebrated scholar + top diplomat.

During her time as a national security adviser and the 66th US secretary of state, Condoleezza was a key player in the US response to major international conflicts...from the fall of the Soviet Union to the reunification of Germany, the 9/11 attacks to the Iraq War. Today, she shares her expertise in the classroom, at the podium and in bestselling books.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Condoleezza Rice (14)

"America is proof that pluralism and tolerance are the foundations of true national greatness."

A Balance of Power that Favors Freedom | october 2002

"There is an old argument between the so-called 'realistic' school of foreign affairs and the 'idealistic' school . . . As a policymaker, I can tell you that these categories obscure reality. In real life, power and values are married completely."

A Balance of Power that Favors Freedom | october 2002

"For those of us in positions of authority, every day after September 11th was September 12th."

interview | january 2005

"Education is transformational. It literally changes lives. That is why people work so hard to become educated, and that is why education has always been the key to the American Dream—the force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlocks every person's God-given potential."

Boston College commencement address | may 2006

"Daddy told me that the first time he saw me in the nursery, the other babies were just lying still, but I was trying to lift myself up . . . From that day on he was a ‘feminist’—there was nothing that his little girl couldn’t do, including learning to love football."

Ordinary, Extraordinary People | january 2010

"When I went to college, I was going to be a concert pianist. And, after a little time at the Aspen Music Festival School and the realization I was going to end up teaching kids to murder Beethoven or maybe playing at a piano bar someplace, I had to find another line of work."

10 Questions for Condoleezza Rice | october 2010

"My father was a feminist from the day I was born; there was nothing his little girl couldn’t do. And he modeled that in his relationship with my mother."

MAKERS profile | april 2012

"My parents had me absolutely convinced that even if I couldn’t have a hamburger at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, I could be president of the United States of America if I wanted to be."

MAKERS profile | april 2012

"Today's headlines and history's judgments are rarely the same."

No Higher Honor | september 2012

"Prejudice and bigotry are brought down...by the sheer force of determination of individuals to succeed and the refusal of a human being to let prejudice define the parameters of the possible."

Shabbat at Chabad of Stanford University | april 2013

"Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success."

Shabbat at Chabad of Stanford University | april 2013

"When you’re helping someone who has less, you don’t think about not having enough, you think ‘why do I have so much’?"

Shabbat at Chabad of Stanford University | april 2013

"My love of football started with my father...He had wanted me to be his 'All-American linebacker,' and had I been a son instead of a daughter, I think I might have done it."

Condoleezza Rice on her father and football | february 2015

"People who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love."

NFL Women's Summit | february 2016
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {june 2015}