Alabama Academy of Honor


Condoleezza Rice

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2002.



Condoleezza Rice was born November 14, 1954, in Birmingham Alabama, to Angelena and John Rice, Jr., both of whom were teachers. An only child, she lived in Birmingham until the age of 13, when a career move by her father took the family away.

An exceptional student, she entered the University of Denver at 15 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1974. She earned her master’s from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. Dr. Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates from Morehouse College, the University of Alabama, and the University of Notre Dame.

In 1981, Dr. Rice joined Stanford University’s faculty. A professor of political science, she was awarded two of the highest teaching honors – the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. While at Stanford, she was also a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution.

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council of Foreign Relations, she served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military. From 1989 through March 1991, she served in the Bush Administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council and as a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

In 1993, Dr. Rice, at 38, became Stanford University’s youngest-ever provost, overseeing a $1.5 billion annual budget and an academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. She completed a six-year tenure in June 1999. Eighteen months later – on January 22, 2001 – she joined the Bush Administration as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, a post commonly referred to as National Security Advisor.

Dr. Rice has written numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and defense policy and has addressed international audiences. Her books include: Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1985).

She has served on numerous corporate boards, including Chevron, Charles Schwab, Transamerica, Hewlett Packard, Rand, and the Carnegie. She has also served on the boards of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J. P. Morgan, and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. She was a Founding Board member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California, and was Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula.