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Wilson Center Mourns the Passing of Madeleine Albright

The Wilson Center mourns the passing of Madeleine Albright, America’s first female Secretary of State, former United States representative to the United Nations and, from 1981-1982, a Wilson Center Fellow.

Madeleine Korbel Albright served as the 64th U.S. Secretary of State when she was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Wilson Center President, Director and CEO Ambassador Mark Green in Ukraine, where they served as election observers in 2014.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Wilson Center President, Director and CEO Ambassador Mark Green in Ukraine, where they served as election observers in 2014. Albright was a Wilson Center fellow from 1981 to 1982 and continued contributing to the center in the years that followed.

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“I was fortunate to work with Dr. Albright in 2014, as we observed elections in Ukraine,” said Wilson Center President and CEO, Ambassador Mark Green. “As an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, her presence in Kyiv was a reminder of the opportunities available to those who pursue the dream of a better life. Her place in American history is secured. As an institution, the Wilson Center is proud to have hosted her as a Fellow and for her years of engagement with us on a range of foreign policy issues.”

Dr. Albright frequently returned to the Center to offer her unique analysis on U.S. foreign policy and apply her lifetime of experience to the challenges faced by an ever-changing world. In 2004, she said, "Human rights, democracy and freedom should be offered, not imposed. The U.S. is most secure when it follows the principles that (President) Wilson laid out."

In a 2015 conversation with then-President of the Wilson Center, Congresswoman Jane Harman, Dr. Albright spoke about the United States’ continued role as an indispensable nation. In 2017, The Center was again honored by Dr. Albright when she spoke at the inaugural Haleh Esfandiari Forum, where the topic was women’s empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Wilson Center community sends its deepest condolences to Dr. Albright’s family.