On March 2, former Secretary of State and DU alumna Condoleezza Rice spoke at DU’s Sie Center. The event was formatted as a conversation with Chris Hill, Dean of the Josef Korbel School and former Ambassador. The event was well-attended by students and faculty.
Rice started as Secretary of State in 2005, succeeding Colin Powell, a position she held until the end of Bush’s second term. Hill—a former colleague of Rice—and Rice discussed current major foreign policy issues and everything from the Red Sox to North Korea to the EU.
After opening with a brief discussion about sports (Rice is especially famous for her love of football), the conversation moved to North Korea’s efforts to build intercontinental ballistic missiles (IBCM) that would be able to reach the U.S. and how to halt North Korea’s progression.
Over the next 45 minutes, Rice touched on China’s economic policy, how to work with Russia, the Iran nuclear deal, Syria, Turkey, NATO, the EU and State Department funding.
The conversation mostly stayed out of American politics, though asides to President Trump’s current foreign policy were made throughout. Rice also voiced her support for current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Oil, stating that working in the oil business has given him the technical skills needed to be the U.S.’s chief diplomat.
At the end of the event, there was a brief period for questions from the audience. Questions were asked about the importance of a Ph.D. in international studies and the ramifications of Executive Order 13769 (known more commonly as the travel ban). However, as the event was late to start, there was not much time allotted at the end for audience participation.
Rice is currently a faculty member at Stanford University, where she served as provost from 1993-1999. Rice graduated from DU with a degree in political science in 1974 and also received her Ph.D. in international studies from DU in 1981. After a long career in academia, as a consultant to the U.S. government, and then briefly in the public sector, President George W. Bush chose Rice to be his National Security Advisor in 2000 after his election to his first term as president.