Bill and Hillary Clinton, U.S. and Foreign Policy Makers, Remember Madeleine Albright at Georgetown Symposium

During a panel with Sherman, Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, explained how Albright had been his role model throughout his career. When she took over Albright’s former post at the UN, she emulated the secretary’s efforts to create an informal women’s group on the Security Council, which Albright had called the “G-7”. “I know Madeleine was very proud of that,” she said.

“She was an icon for so many people. She paved the way for all of us,” said Thomas-Greenfield, who led the Albright Stonebridge Group’s Africa practice and worked with the Georgetown Institute for the Study of International Diplomacy before her appointment as Ambassador to the of ONU. titles held by MKA, she was most proud to be called Professor Albright. She left us a tremendous legacy, and I know she’s counting on you to carry her work forward.

US National Security Toolkit

“I am sometimes known as a secretary, but above all I like to be known as a teacher” – Madeleine K. Albright

Among her accomplishments as a diplomat, women’s rights pioneer, and dedicated teacher, Albright will be remembered for her famous undergraduate course, “American National Security Tool Box.”

On the second day of today’s symposium, students recreated the course’s signature diplomacy simulation involving a foreign policy crisis. In Albright’s class, students spent the semester preparing, and homework made up a significant portion of their grades.

Today’s competition was led by some of Albright’s former teaching assistants and judged by real diplomats, including former Under Secretary of State Ambassador David Hale (SFS’84), International Narcotics Bureau and Law Enforcement Assistant Secretary Ambassador Todd Robinson (SFS’ 85) and former US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell.

Madeleine Albright (left) congratulates David Trichler (right) as he walks across the stage at Gaston Hall on his graduation day.
Trichler (right) at her graduation with Albright, who “leaned over (all 5 feet from her) and grabbed me in a tight hug, whispering how proud she was of me.”

Albright even encouraged one of his former teaching assistants, David Trichler (MSFS’11), now associate director of the Global Research Institute at William & Mary, to bring simulation to his Williamsburg classroom.

“It was typical of MKA: generous, thought-provoking and forward-looking, expanding its ideas and perspective to a wider audience,” Trichler said. “Teaching the class, both at William & Mary and at W&M’s DC Center, was a joy. And MKA was a constant guest speaker, both in person and via Zoom.

Dean Joel Hellman speaks behind a podium on stage at Gaston Hall
Dean Hellman recounted Albright’s commitment to his students (Photo: Yassine El Mansouri).

Joel Hellman, dean of SFS, recalled how Albright called him a few days before the start of the spring 2022 semester to tell him that she would not be able to teach her course. She apologized for telling him just before the semester started, but “the one thing I tried not to give up was my class.”

“Although she changed the world during her lifetime, she left us a generation of leaders and future leaders committed to helping and continuing the fight for democracy, human rights and dignity for all” , Hellman said. “And at this perilous time in world affairs, I am confident that will prove to be his most lasting legacy.”

Banner hanging from a lamp post with pictures of Albright and his quote "Take advantage of every opportunity and never close the door behind you."

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