Condoleezza Rice has achieved several firsts in her life. Born in the segregated South, she became the first female national security adviser in U.S. history in January 2001. As a faculty member at Stanford University, she became the youngest provost in the institution's 110-year history and the first woman and the first African American to hold the position. As national security adviser, she holds a powerful position during a time when the United States is considered at war and she is reported to be one of President Bush's closest advisers. Her unique name is derived from an Italian musical term that means "with sweetness."
November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama
Rice received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Denver in 1974; a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and a Ph.D from the University of Denver in 1981.
Rice joined the political science faculty of Stanford University in 1981. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she served as special assistant to the director of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. At Stanford, she was a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a senior fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a fellow of the Hoover Institution.
In 1989, she left Stanford to join the Bush administration as director, and then senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a special assistant to the president for national security affairs. In 1991, she left Washington and returned to Stanford. In 1993, she was appointed provost, which is the university's chief budget and academic officer. In 1999, she left Stanford again to join the presidential campaign of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Upon Bush's election, he named her as his national security adviser and her appointment was confirmed on January 22, 2001.
Rice also has co-written two books: "Germany Unified and Europe Transformed," with Philip Zelikow, published in 1995; and "The Gorbachev Era," with Alexander Dallin, in 1986. She also authored "Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army," which was published in 1984.
Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1984; Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993; received honorary doctorates from Morehouse College, 1991; the University of Alabama, 1994; University of Notre Dame, 1995.
Rice is single and lives in Washington, D.C. She is a big football fan and has said she would like to be NFL commissioner one day.