Cambridge, MA – Esteemed diplomat and international relations scholar Madeleine Albright will deliver the Graduation Address to the Harvard Kennedy School class of 2016 at 2 pm May 25 at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), HKS Dean Douglas Elmendorf announced today. 

Albright is currently a professor of International Relations at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and serves as chair of the National Democratic Institute, as well as the Albright Stonebridge Group. 

The first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, Albright assumed office in January 1997 and served throughout President Bill Clinton’s second term.  As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. In May 2012 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. 

Born in Czechoslovakia, Albright and her family spent several years during World War Two in the United Kingdom, and later immigrated to the United States.  Albright began her career in public service when she was recruited to become the National Security Council’s congressional liaison in 1978.  She joined the academic staff at Georgetown University in 1982 and later became a foreign policy advisor for the Democratic Party.  Her first diplomatic post was that of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, where she served from 1993 to 1997. 

Albright earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College, and a Master of Arts and PhD at Columbia University. 

“Madeleine Albright is a remarkable public servant whose decades of work on behalf of world peace, security and justice should serve as an inspiration to us all,” said Dean Elmendorf. “We are elated that she will deliver the Graduation Address for the HKS Class of 2016." 

Journalists interested in covering the address should contact the Kennedy School Communications Office at 617-495-1115.

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