Thursday, Sep 21st

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Susan E. Rice: The Pragmatic Diplomat

susan-rice

Last year during her commencement speech at Stanford, Susan Rice spoke to her alma mater’s graduates about making life more about service than money, making change not just counting it.· As she spoke about her journey to becoming US Ambassador to the United Nations, she echoed the same theme, “If you want change, you have to make it.· If you want progress you have to drive it”.· As the first African American woman appointed to this position, Rice has proven through passion, education and diligence all things are possible.

Born and raised in Washington DC, Rice had dreams of becoming the first US Senator from the District of Colombia.· The daughter of a former governor on the Federal Reserve Board, Rice grew up in a cultured environment.· In high school, she was a star basketball player and valedictorian at the National Cathedral School.· Her Jamaican born parents instilled the importance of education and taught her never to use race as an excuse or advantage.· Although later, she would secretly harbor fears people would attribute her achievements to affirmative action and would diminish her accomplishments.

She continued to excel in her studies receiving her B.A. in History with honors from Stanford University, M.Phil (Master’s degree) and D.Phil. (PhD) in International Relations from New College, Oxford University, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Rice entered government life in 1993 where she served eight years at the White House and the State Department in the Clinton administration and eventually became assistant secretary of state for African affairs.· In 2008, when President elect Obama considered her for the prestigious appointment, many questioned her ability to lead.· As President Obama’s closest foreign-policy adviser, her presence is seen and felt more as a political pundit answering the tough questions about America’s role in Libya and Dictator Gaddafi.

As a fierce negotiator, she is a woman who cares deeply about the international community at large and rallies for humanitarian invention and peacekeeping efforts.· Rice is her own woman with her own voice on foreign policy.· Even as the crisis in the Middle East continues to mount, she is steadfast and swift in her decisions.· During this latest round of UN resolutions with Libya, Rice rounded up enough votes to pass resolution even corralling abscond diplomats to tackle peacekeeping efforts.· Her commitment to the global community and the advancement of amity is what keeps Susan Rice going.· She is a woman of conviction and strength and will not be deterred.

When the married mother of two spoke to young women at Spellman College about how she manages it all, for Rice family is the most important thing in her life.· “The balancing act is never ever easy.· However, my two kids are the most wonderful things that have ever happened to me.· So if you want a family, get yourself launched, find a worthy partner, build a support network, put some money in the bank-and then get going,” Rice said.

Whether Rice continues as the UN Ambassador in the next administration, this determined woman will always find a path for herself.