The Gemini 3 Group Lecture
Only a year after her birth Madeleine Korbel and her family fled Nazi Germany’s grip on Czechoslovakia. After World War II, her family returned but were again forced to flee, this time facing a communist consolidation of power. In 1948 Madeleine and her family arrived in the United States, settling in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1959 and soon thereafter married Joseph Albright, member of an important newspaper family.
Albright’s professional career began with a stint working for Senator Edmund Muskie. She went on to work for Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. When Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992, he chose Albright to be the US Ambassador to the United Nations. In 1997 Clinton selected her to be the country’s first female Secretary of State.
Befitting her personal history, Albright was a fierce advocate for human rights and favored American military intervention to preserve them. She argued in favor of US airstrikes in Bosnia in 1994 and NATO’s air war with Serbia over Kosovo in 1999. Both conflicts in the Balkans ended in stable peace agreements. Albright’s record includes failures as well. Some have criticized her for not doing more to stop the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Finally, while she was the first Secretary of State to visit North Korea, the US was not able to reverse North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
For further reading on Madeleine Albright, see an op-ed by Jason Davidson, published in the Free Lance-Star.
Speaker: Jason Davidson
Jason Davidson, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, earned a Ph.D. (2001) and an M.A. (1999) in government from Georgetown University and a B.A. (1996) in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Prof. Davidson is the author of four books: America’s Entangling Alliances: 1778 to the Present (Georgetown University Press, 2020); with Fabrizio Coticchia Italian Foreign Policy During Matteo Renzi’s Government: A Domestically-Focused Outsider and the World (Lexington Books, 2019); The Origins of Revisionist and Status-quo States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and America's Allies and War: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). His articles have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Foreign Policy Analysis, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Contemporary Security Policy, Modern Italy, Security Studies, and The Nonproliferation Review.