America’s First Female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is Dead
Madeleine Albright, a Czech immigrant who went on to become the first female secretary of state in US history, has died aged 84.
A long-time foreign policy veteran, Albright became America’s top diplomat in 1997 during the Bill Clinton administration.
Often hailed as “a champion of democracy”, Albright was instrumental in efforts to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
Her death from cancer was confirmed by a State Department spokesman.
“The impact that she has had on this building is felt every single day,” said Ned Price. “She was a trailblazer as the first female secretary of state, and quite literally opened doors for a large element of our workforce.”
She moved to the United States in 1948, the same year her family applied for political asylum, arguing that they were unable to return home as opponents of their country’s communist regime. She became a US citizen in 1957.
Albright went on to work at the White House during the Jimmy Carter administration and later as foreign policy adviser to a number of vice-presidential and presidential candidates.
Soon after Clinton was inaugurated in 1993, Albright was appointed ambassador to the United Nations – her first diplomatic posting.
Her time there was marked by disagreements with then Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, whom she criticised as “disengaged” during the Rwandan Genocide.