The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, its Board of Advisers, and our students are deeply saddened by the passing of Secretary Madeleine Albright. Secretary Albright was a consummate diplomat and committed teacher, a leader, and mentor whose wisdom, experience, and wit touched us all over the decades of her service to Georgetown and to the country she loved. She dealt with the world as it was, a reflection of her childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee from the Nazis and from communism. She was intolerant of the bully and the brutish, and equally committed to her vision that the world could be made better, safer, and more equitable. She sought peace, but understood the need for strength, and was a skilled negotiator not afraid to call out despots, liars, and other adversaries when required.
She cared deeply for her students, and they for her. Her “America’s National Security Toolbox” was a flagship course at the School of Foreign Service for decades, and her books and aphorisms will live on. She engaged and inspired generations of rising leaders who came to Georgetown from all over the world. She spoke at the first annual Georgetown Leadership Seminar in 1982, the most recent one in 2019, and almost all in between – except when she was otherwise occupied as Secretary of State.
Much has been written to mark the passing of Secretary Madeleine Albright. I want to share a very special tribute from her last graduate class at Georgetown this past fall semester. Her students capture the spirit and the legacy of this remarkable woman and the impact she will have for decades to come. I invite you to read their words.