64th Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, Speaks at DU | University of Denver (2018)

– Good afternoon and welcome It’s my great honor to welcome all of our special guests today to the Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex and we are very fortunate to have John Sie and his family here at the home of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Pardis Mahdavi and I am the acting dean and I’m delighted to be joined by a large contingent of our Korbel students today For those of whom aren’t here, we do have an overflow room so thank you for those of you who are watching this on livestream downstairs in the forum and hopefully we’ll be able to get some of their questions as well I personally came to the University of Denver last fall and fell in love with this beautiful city and community It has been my great pleasure to work with such gifted faculty, staff, and students I am excited to see you second year masters students graduate in just a few short months and can’t wait to watch you change the world, though it’ll be sad to see you go Before we get started, please know that secretary Albright is eager to autograph your book If you have not yet purchased a book, you may do so after the Q and A and she has generously agreed to remain to autograph as many books as she can Those will be set up in the foyer So thank you for that So you all are here today to hear from this wonderful woman seated to my left, Madeleine Korbel Albright And for this audience it probably goes without saying that secretary Albright is the daughter of the first dean of our school, Dr. Josef Korbel I have to tell you every day I feel that I have such big shoes to fill, so it’s really such an honor to have you here and we’ll be talking a little bit more about Josef Korbel in a moment Secretary Albright is the chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm and chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets Again, you all probably know this but it gives me a great honor to introduce her She was the 64th secretary of state of the United States and Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor from president Obama on May 29, 2012 In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the first female secretary of state, and became at that time the highest ranking woman in the history of the United States government 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 United States permanent representative to the United Nations, and was a member of the president’s cabinet From 1989 to 1992 she served as president of the Center for National Policy, and previously she was a member of president Jimmy Carter’s national security council and White House staff and served as chief legislative assistant to US senator Edmund S. Muskie Dr. Albright is as chancellor Chopp would like to say, one of the most important jobs in the world She is currently a professor in the practice of diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service She chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation She served on the United States Department of Defenses’s defense policy board, a group tasked with providing the secretary of defense with independent informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy Dr. Albright also served on the boards of the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress In 2009, secretary Albright was asked by NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen to chair a group of experts focused on developing NATO’s new strategic concept She is the author of five New York Times bestsellers Her autobiography Madam Secretary: A Memoir The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership Prague Winter, a personal story of remembrance and war from 1937 to 1948 and one of my personal favorites, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box Her latest book, Fascism: A Warning was published in April of 2018 Dr. Albright received a BA with honors from Wellesley College and a masters and doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s department of public law and government, as well as a certificate from its Russian Institute She is based in Washington DC Secretary Albright it is such a pleasure to have you here with us

We have over 100 students in the audience, and many more in a conference room on the first floor, and everyone here is as eager as I am to learn lessons from you – Well I’m delighted to be here, thank you so much ’cause this is home, and I was very grateful to have grown up in Denver, and I was not a citizen when we came here and I actually took my vows at the Denver court between my sophomore and junior years at Wellesley and I am a grateful American, and I always feel it everywhere but especially when I come home to Denver – Well welcome home – Thank you – So speaking of being welcomed home, I’d like to ask my first question about your father He appears throughout this book in very interesting ways from the moment where he decided to ignore the sirens in your London flat and stay behind to finish his radio script to the point where he goes as ambassador to warn then president about the threats to democracy that communism posed I wonder if you could talk a little bit about if your father were alive today, what do you think he would make of the situation America’s facing, and was he part of the inspiration for you in writing this book? – Well no question that he was the inspiration He was the inspiration of everything I’ve ever done I was the perfect daughter He’s dead, I’m old, I’m still the perfect daughter And whatever he was working on, I would work on So after he had been in his last job which was representing Czechoslovakia on a new commission to do with India and Pakistan, I learned a lot about Kashmir I wrote a paper on Gandhi Whatever he was doing, I was into but I really do think that part of his legacy was understanding democracy And we spent an awful lot of time talking about that, and when he came to the United States he did say that the most wonderful thing was to be a professor in a free country, but he was concerned that Americans were taking democracy for granted, and I think he would be very worried now because that is what’s happened And a sense of not understanding fully enough that one had to fight for democracy, and the other part I think the lessons of things that happened in Czechoslovakia specifically was the fact that the communists took advantage of democratic institutions to undermine democracy because the democratic ministers and various people thought that those who didn’t agree with them would obey the rules, and they didn’t obey the rules and so that was the part I think that I would take out of all of this and if I, there’s nothing worse than speaking for the dead but the bottom line is I do think that he would see exactly that which is going on which is people taking advantage of our democracy to undermine it and the Russians specifically taking advantage of our media systems and the new technology, and so I think he would be warning the way I am, and so I’m hoping that I am in fact being able to embody some of the things that he thought, and to issue that warning because that was something he had really, he sensed it the minute he got here One, that he was honored and delighted and grateful to be here, but also being a little concerned that Americans were taking everything for granted – So speaking of being the perfect daughter, I’m hoping my daughter is going to take some lessons from you on that As I was telling you, my daughter’s a second grader and I had the opportunity to go and help her classmates think about writing opinion pieces, and they were asking me you know what is it like to have an opinion and write about it? And I said well you have to write about something you feel strongly, and so I asked them you know for instance people write a lot about the government What is your feeling, do you have a lot of trust in the government? And this is something you write about in your book, you know the current situation we’re in, the level of trust is so low, it’s at a historic low but you also talk about the future and thinking about the credit that America has shored up, and you pose a great question about the long lasting effects of our current situation and this lack of trust That really hit home for me when I was talking with a group of second graders in Denver who said, I asked them do you trust the US government? And they said no, why would we? And I said why? And they said the president doesn’t have our interests at heart So what do you make of that? And what do we think about the long lasting effects? – Well I’m overwhelmed that second graders think that, because some of the older people don’t And I think that that is the problem That there’s not enough of an understanding of what is going on, and this comes, I have been studying an awful lot about what’s happening internationally

As you pointed out, I’m chairman of the National Democratic Institute and spent a lot of time analyzing what is going on and what has happened is democracy is at the lowest level Freedom House is really been talking about the great damage that has been done to democracy in a lot of different ways The part that I find that is so difficult to get my head around, which is that information is supposed to be the lifeblood of democracy, and yet people are either listening to everything that they already agree with, and people don’t know where the information is coming from and technology, which is a great boon in so many ways, also is a double-edged sword So I have been analyzing for instance the Arab Spring and how come what happened at Tahrir Square How do you get from Tahrir Square to governance? And so the simplest way to put it is that people went to Tahrir Square on the basis of social media Also I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the elections were held too soon, and so the Muslim brotherhood was organized and the people in Tahrir Square were not They were disaggregated voices and political parties couldn’t be formed, and so the Muslim brotherhood wins So it’s a complete disaster in many different ways, and then there is this mythical middle aged man that I talk about who lives outside of Cairo, wants to come in and order to open his stall in the souq and it’s a mess in Tahrir Square and so he says I want order And so all of a sudden general Sisi becomes president and they have order with a capital O So how does this happen? And the thing that, by the way to the students this is unacceptable because what I’m saying is, I plagiarized I was in Silicon Valley and somebody came up with I think a terrific summary of what’s going on People are talking to their governments on 21st Century technologies The governments listen to them on 20th Century technology, and are providing 19th Century responses So there is no faith in the government because they are not responding to the needs of the people in so many different ways, and therefore you know, there’s a way that democracy kind of seems messy, takes too long, and there is always this issue and again graduate students studied as all of us did is what comes first? Political development or economic development? And they go together because people want to vote and eat, and so there is this discussion and what is it that the government really does? And to go even deeper is the social contract is broken I think people gave up their individual rights to be in a system that has a government that takes some responsibility for their well being and provide roads and schools and all that, and at the same time the citizens are not doing what they need to do Our responsibility is to vote, and be a part of things so there’s disconnect across the board – So you talked about LCC and in the book you talk a lot about Erdogan and you know you have the chapter on his role Last year I was part of an organization called Scholars At Risk where we seek to provide aid to academics who are hunted around the world for a lack of academic freedom In 2016 alone there were more Turkish scholars than any other scholars around the world who needed immediate attention because they were literally being hunted In Iran we saw the same thing with increasing numbers of academics arrested and placed in Evin prison which I think as I mentioned to you, at a certain point people were calling it Evin University because all the professors were locked up and graduate students were joking about trying to get arrested so they could finish their dissertations right? So why do you think academics pose such a major threat to fascism and what can be done about it? – Well I think that the issue really is that the role of academics is to uncover what the truth is and to allow students to explore what they think and to be respectful of diversity of opinions and in fact to encourage it I think that the thing that I love about teaching is when students challenge me, and it makes the professor think and it makes the other students think and it’s all based on this capability that a good academic has of eliciting different opinions and yet putting it into some kind of a context That is terrifying to authoritarian figures, because they think that they have been anointed or something in order to provide their version of truth, and if there’s anybody that questions it then they become an enemy of the people The part of the problem is that this is something that happens slowly, so Erdogan is a very

interesting example, and Turkey in so many different ways I’ve been fascinated by Turkey for a long time I worked in the Carter administration when it was the first, we lifted an embargo that had been put on Turkey because of actions that they’d taken in Cyprus and I spent a lot of time studying Turkey And it’s a fascinating place, because of its geographical location You talked about your daughter, my granddaughter when I took her there summarized everything when she said I understand Turkey now We spent the night in Europe and had lunch in Asia – That’s great, that’s great – Pretty much summarizes it, but the bottom line is geographically an incredibly important place, and what had happened there was that they had a series of governments that were either came in by military coups, or were a bunch of snobby people that lived on the other side of the Bosporus, and so they were not delivering constituency services so Erdogan was somebody that was able to create a party that did do constituency services and he got elected fair and square There’s no question about it Then all of a sudden there was, there’s no other way to describe it but power went to his head and he began accumulating more and more power and then doing something which is a very very bad sign and is true in a lot of places, changing the constitution He wants to make sure that he has a lifetime term The Chinese just did that And I think that when there is an attempt to do that, that is one of the really devastating signs and so he has now arrested thousands of academics, thousands of journalists, thousands of people that have worked in a variety of different prices, and I have, what I do this really is a book that is history I do begin with Mussolini and Hitler, but I’m looking at some current governments that are going in a fascist direction Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Philippines, Venezuela are the ones that I’ve kind of focused on where all of a sudden there is this leader who was elected This is the part that’s creepy, that then in fact uses all that power to limit power for everybody else – What we’ve heard Fareed Zakaria term a liberal democracies right? So you spoke a little bit about your role as an academic, as a professor and in the classroom and you write in the book about how fascism as a discursive trope has become fashion in a sense when your colleague kind of mistook the title But you know in a sense meaning that people level the trope as accusation against people with whom they disagree Here on college campuses, we see this unfortunate fashion rearing its ugly head, in that people are leveling you know that trope of fascism on multiple sides as an accusation What do you think we can do about this you know in higher education and how kind of this trope has infiltrated, and then on the flip side what is the role of higher education in combating fascism? – Well first of all, I do think when you don’t like somebody you call ’em a fascist and it seems like it hits, I mean it can even, I mean you have a nice daughter but the bottom line, there are kids who when their parents don’t let ’em use the car call ’em fascists, you know? And so it’s just something that seems like it’s the ultimate way to discredit somebody I have to say it’s not easy to define fascism, and I have tried that in the book and it really kind of my explanation of it is it’s not an ideology It’s a systematic way to destroy a democratic system, but it’s basically identifying with a group that is normally highly nationalistic, tribal and discrediting people that are not in it, so it becomes very much an us versus them activity Then to make sure that the people that are them have no rights at all, and if they’re foreigners and migrants then they are definitely responsible for everything that goes wrong, including being terrorists and rapists and all that Then there is a lack of regard for the free press, and calling the free press an enemy of the people Then there is a way of undermining civil society generally Anything that isn’t kind of controlled by the top, and using big rallies and things and uniforms and salutes to make sure that the message gets across in some particular way No respect for any democratic institutions, and having the leader be above the law And so and then ultimately and I think this is the part that really gets to the nub of

it is using violence in order to get what you want And so a fascist leader is somebody who identifies with the group, disrespects the right of others, and has a military to impose views So kind of a bully with an army, but it is not an easy, it’s not easy to define but it has that combination of things of undermining free thought in every way, which leads to the question about an academic setting It is the job of an academic setting is to try, it’s not easy to find truth I have to agree with that I mean what we learn in an academy is to actually look at a lot of different sources and compare things and I, you’re Iranian so I’m going to tell you this story One of the things that I did when I first started teaching was to look at what happened during the hostage crisis, and I did this all on the basis of published memoirs and material, and you know secretary Vance had written about it, a lot of different people and I did categories about where did people get their information, who did they trust, who were their allies within the US government? Who did they consider as undercutting them? And across the board, everything was slightly different and it made me realize that everybody sees things a little bit differently I have been accused of being a relativist and I can’t say there’s absolute truth, but I do think that there are aspects that you can learn by doing comparisons and that’s what a university does is encourage research and have people try to find where the information comes from, and then I do think as I said earlier the most important thing is to elicit different views from your students and make them feel comfortable, and then, and this is an essential part, make them be respectful of other people’s opinions You cannot shout down people that you disagree with, and I think that the most important thing is to encourage civil discourse and recognize that some people may think differently and then try to persuade them through civil discourse, but I think what I’m very troubled by is when the universities now do not want to have speakers that they disagree with I’ve been demonstrated against, it’s not much fun but as and I literally just was last week and I said I believe in freedom of speech They however never let me answer, and so I think that that’s what the most important part is Ask the questions, let the person you disagree with answer – Mhmm, ’cause the price for lack of free speech in academic freedom is pretty high – And that’s what it’s all about – Right, so you’ve talked a lot about the role of the press One of the things I noticed in the book is you also refer to actors, people like Charlie Chaplin and I’m wondering what you think the role of Hollywood is, because of course a lot of people also get their information or their tropes about particular issues through Hollywood I work on human trafficking and I know unfortunately the film Taken became kind of the basis for a lot of people’s information on human trafficking So what would you say the role of Hollywood is? And I know that you have some experience I’m a big fan of Gilmore Girls, as well as Madam Secretary I loved your appearance in both of those shows So tell me what you think the role of Hollywood is? – Well I think again mixed, but let me just say the following things I think that when an actor takes up a cause, it makes a big difference and it’s very important because actors aren’t stupid and I think for instance what George Clooney has done has been very important in terms of a lot of aspects, or Richard Gere in Tibet, any number of things that they can bring issues to the fore in a very positive way I also think in defense of my television watching and acting is that the bottom line is that there are, that you can hook people on a story and really be giving an important message I used to watch something called Army Wives which really did explain how difficult it was for wives of deployed military and raised a lot of issues So I’m almost embarrassed about this, or not, but what happened was I got a call from the producers of Gilmore Girls and they said would you mind if somebody played you? And I said yes I would, I want to play myself So I, and I made the excuse of why this was okay for me to do For any of you that watched Gilmore Girls, the you know– – Rory – Rory was leaving college, and the whole point was to get her to go back to college so I thought it was an educational thing that I was doing and so I was participating in something educational and the bottom line is it was harder than I thought, because all

of that had to be memorized and it always was the same thing and so the whole scene was this was always on Rory’s birthday Her mother got into bed beside her, and she was, so I went through all this and my daughters, my youngest daughter actually looks like Rory and so she called and said Mom you were just playing yourself But that was my excuse I did Parks and Recreation too Forgot that – I missed that one – And the reason I got asked to do that because I was part of the show When it first started, Amy Poehler had a picture of me on her desk and somebody was trying to date her said is that your grandmother? And she said no, and I’m not going to date anybody that doesn’t know who Madeleine Albright is – Good answer, that’s a good answer – And then Madam Secretary, I do have to tell you about this which is that Tea Leoni came to me and she said I want to meet with you to talk about what it’s like to be secretary, what the job is So we’re sitting and I’m trying to explain to this woman what it’s about and I thought I must be out of my mind Why am I being serious about, anyway the writers then came up to me and they were very interested in what we were doing, and so then what happens, some of you have probably now read about the White House Correspondents Dinner So about three years ago, CBS and the whole cast asked me to be their guest and we’re walking into that and people would say madam secretary, and she would turn around But I did do a segment on that, and I’m happy to do many things, but I would not want to be on that too much It took five hours to film this tiny little segment, yeah so – So maybe Hollywood is not– – Yeah, but I do think Hollywood is important The only time that I have, at the end, I don’t want to spoil the end of the book, but basically I talk about three dreams that, bad dreams One is a takeover by the right wing in a number of different ways, but also about Hollywood taking over and kind of very far left wing and then the third one is if there’s some terrorist event So I am not an extremist, and I am a centrist and so I am concerned about money coming in that is very specific to something and does not in fact allow for civil discourse – I have one last question for you before we open it up One of the things I think that’s so powerful about the book is it sort of makes the case that the successes of certain fascist movements build on each other, if you will so the momentum you have Mussolini, Hitler, and then kind of you chronicle this interesting progress and we fast forward to the present moment as well where you have the successes of kind of nefarious or autocratic regimes building on each other If we take it from the more positive angle, we might think about the question of hope in terms of the successes of some movements that we see today, such as the #MeToo movement and #Enough, you know young people sort of leading the way against gun violence or on women’s rights against sexual assault Do you see hope in these movements in terms of combating the sort of plucking of the feathers, if you will? – Definitely, let me just say kind of my motto for this book You know we’ve all seen that see something, say something I’ve added to it do something, and part of my to-do list is really to be supportive I’m just so moved by the children actually that went out and demonstrated after Parkland, and they’ve now been joined across the country, children that are out there saying that they want to be involved, they want to hear from their members of Congress They’re holding town hall meetings because they want some gun sanity so they don’t have to go to school in flak jackets, and so I think that’s very important and I do think it is important We cannot operate on the basis of fear We have to operate on the basis of hope, and so I am definitely, but part of it goes with the other part, which is listening to those that you disagree with, and it’s a very strange time because I do think it’s not easy to make clear, speak with certainty about things that you believe in Be strong, go out there and demonstrate, but at the same time say listen to those people that you think are really undermining everything I think the hardest part, and I just spent a lot of time campaigning I have over the years The hardest part is to speak to people who disagree with you and who you know are going to vote some other way without being very you know snooty about them or disrespecting

them, and you can’t do that I mean that is part of what’s really, we have to be very clear about that they have beliefs that for whatever reason they’ve developed and to argue with it in a really respectful way I think is important – It’s a great message to end on, thank you secretary Albright So we would now like to open it up for questions, and there is a mic on the side of the room and Ivy and Alicia will be able to help pass the mic around So if you just sort of raise your hand, I’ll do my best, yeah Alexis in the back Ivy, let’s go with, she’s back there – [Alexis] Thank you so much for coming My name is Alexis Menocal Harrigan I am a Korbel alumna I currently work for governor Hickenlooper as his education policy advisor I would love your opinion and advice I come from the public sector I’ve worked for several elected officials I have seen many women face this glass ceiling in public service, particularly women of color Any advice for my colleagues who are looking to advance in public service and how to push our careers forward? Thank you – Well, I think we’ve all faced that in some form or another And I do think that part of it has to do in supporting each other in the first place I, the most famous thing I’ve ever said is that there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other It was so famous that it ended up on a Starbucks cup And it comes out of my own experience, because by the way I went to college sometime between the invention of the iPad and the discovery of fire, so things are a little different But basically part of my problem was when I started graduate school and I had year old twins, were other women who kind of said why aren’t you at home taking care of your children or in the car pool line and besides my Hollandaise sauce is so much better than yours and just generally putting me down Then, there was the issue when I finally got into the government that I was always the only person in the room, only woman in the room and so what happened was I would think that I wanted to say something and then I’d think well it’ll sound stupid and then some man said it and everybody thought it was brilliant and the men supported each other, you know as Joe said And if there had been another woman in the room, we could have supported each other And so I think that that’s one of the aspects We need to help each other so that we’re not the only woman in the room, and then I really do think that we need to do this on a basis, by the way when I became secretary of state I made women’s issues central to American foreign policy not just because I’m a feminist but because it made sense More than half the population in every country is female, so it’s loss of a resource and I think the same thing is true in the United States It has to be viewed as a practical thing, but we need to want to have other women around and definitely not the queen bee syndrome which is if there’s only one woman in the room it’s gonna be me and not you – Secretary Albright thank you very much for coming today and for your warning, and since you’re in my mind one of the premiere diplomats even though we have ambassador Hill here as well, my question though is I agree with you that we need to talk to people with different points of view but when their point of view is based on hate and exclusion how would you start that dialogue? I would like to know so I can use that technique as well – I think, let me just say when you’re talking about diplomacy and I’ll get to the more specific part of your question, I have told my students and I did this when I was in office You try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes to figure out what, where they’re coming from, and why they are saying what they’re saying It’s not easy, and it’s very difficult if you think the person is a total jerk, but the bottom line is I do think that it’s important at least to begin that way to find out I do think that one of the ways is that you need to say to somebody I disagree with you, but I’m prepared to hear what you have to say but you have to be prepared to hear what I have to say And just flat out recognize that you’re in a different place And there’s a certain level of honesty that I think is truly necessary for that

The part and diplomacy is the following thing There’s kind of a question of why would you talk to some horrible leader that is a despot? Talking is not a gift Diplomacy is something that is a tool that is required in order to find out what’s going on and I always love it I have a lot of friends and we talk about what diplomacy is and the French are really good at coming up with some really cynical point of view, so one of my friends is a former French foreign minister, and he came up with the best term He said diplomacy is the way that you can talk to monsters because it is a tool, and I think the same thing is true if you see having a conversation with somebody you disagree with as a tool to try to figure out where they’re coming from, but it’s not easy and especially when they start yelling at you – Yeah, right here yeah in the purple Ivy, right, go ahead – Hi secretary Albright It’s a pleasure meeting you, but my question is is that we’re seeing Jacksonian politics make a return in American discourse Do you see, and this has been a dramatic shift from the previous 20 years Do you see this remaining for a while or do you see this shift back to more Hamiltonian and Wilsonian politics? – You know it’s interesting I don’t know how many of you have read Walter Russell Mead in terms of identifying who is a Wilsonian and a Jacksonian and a Jeffersonian, and I do think the truth is that at the moment populism has gotten a bad name, but if you think about democracy it’s about people And I think the question is how to use that interest coming bottom up in a way that turns people in the right direction, and allows people to have their voices heard The thing that worries me, and this is the connection in how one gets to fascism is that there, fascism in contrast to just plain old authoritarianism is that it is taking what’s coming bottom up in terms of people’s unhappiness over divisions or lack of jobs or whatever, and then coming from the top giving him some simplistic answer, and using them, their disquiet in a way to undermine the system But I think we need to have some recognition that populism and Jacksonianism is not bad We’re a democracy The thing that gets lost in it is the us versus them part, and to try to remember that our constitution is we the people and not us versus them – Yeah in the back Right there, yeah yep – Hello, thank you for being here I really appreciate it You’ve had such a distinguished career, but I’d like to talk about what you have referred to as your biggest regret So the situation in Rwanda and Somalia That was during a time of international cooperation Obviously I don’t agree with fascism, but how do you solve issues such as those dealing with genocide when you are trying to get everyone to cooperate, but nobody wants to take the responsibility? – Well, you’ll be so sorry you asked this I do teach this course, and I’ve now gone through the whole toolbox and we have done two sessions One on humanitarian intervention and one on counterterrorism to see how the tools all fit together So I have gone back and looked an awful lot on the issues of humanitarian intervention and also ’cause I was at the UN at a magical time, I have to say The Russians had decided that they were gonna veto things First president Bush had put together a coalition of the willing to do the Gulf War a number of different ways, and one of the interesting parts there at the time was the development of the peacekeepers, and I learned an awful lot at the time, there were 60,000 peacekeepers that were out there and the office in New York was the global emergency number The only problem was it was only open from nine to five and not on weekends, and so the question was how to evolve this incredible tool that had been set up by the UN charter in a way of how it would really work? There had not been, peacekeepers used to be people that would only go in to keep the peace after an agreement had been made So I’m there and we’re talking about all these things that are going on, and part of the issue that I make my students think about is what are all the issues that are happening at the same time? What are the capabilities? So at the beginning, we were doing things in Bosnia

The Somalia whole adventure had begun as a feeding operation started by the Bush administration during the transition, and trying to get it to become a UN operation Then there were problems in Haiti We were trying to do something and there was violence there and this the big aircraft carrier the Harlan County had to be turned around Anyway, the other part that is really important on Rwanda, and this is a part that is essential to all of this, and you can either believe this or not but at the time we did not have information It didn’t even make the security council list for a long time It never was out there, and all of a sudden something that had been, there were problems between the Hutus and Tutsis and it became volcanic genocide And I have regretted it, so has president Clinton, but the issue is we did not have the information and we were involved in other things, and these humanitarian interventions I’ve just told my students are the damned if you do, damned if you don’t aspect of it and so people are wondering why aren’t we doing something about Syria now? That is genocide They are using chemical weapons to kill people, and yet there are real questions about what we do when, what are the sources, and do we have a responsibility to each other? The thing that I find interesting is secretary general Gutierrez has now recognized something that should have been evident a long time ago What do we do to prevent these kinds of situations in the first place? And what do we do when military has done its job and it’s over in terms of reconstruction We have been talking previously about Kosovo Americans are the most generous people in the world with the shortest attention span, and we kind of think that once we’ve done something it’s done, and yet there’s this whole spectrum, but the international community has looked at things, responsibility to protect and all this, and the question is what tool to use, when do you use it, is it in US national interest? We know what to do if America is attacked or our allies are attacked, but there are these damned if you do, damned if you don’t, and I find it very hard and I can’t really, I know why we didn’t do Rwanda and I know what happened I didn’t like my instructions I have some feeling for Nikki Haley recently, and I tried to get my instructions changed and I couldn’t get them changed But it was something we didn’t have the right information and the worst part about it is even if we had wanted to do something, it was volcanic and we couldn’t get in there fast enough There has been rolling genocide in the Sudan It was declared genocide, and we still didn’t do anything about it because it is one of the damned if you do, damned if you don’t – Yes, yeah All right maybe Oh from the front – Secretary Albright, what is your opinion on the current state of the foreign service, and what do you believe the foreign service will need to do in the future to remain relevant and a vital tool of the United States? – I am deeply, deeply troubled by what is going on I obviously believe in diplomacy and in many ways, the primacy of the State Department is the oldest department in the US government, and I do believe that in the toolbox, diplomacy is the bread and butter, the major tool in cooperation with others so that secretary Mattis actually said, unless the State Department gets more money, he’s going to have to have more bullets, and so very often the Defense Department understands really well what the State Department needs to do I was outraged by the budget that came forward, the so-called skinny budget that initially came from the office of management and budget, and by the way one of the things just so you know about the budget process, it is a way that each department goes to the office of management and budget They put down a budget The thing that used to happen during the Clinton administration, we would be able to go and argue in front of the president with the other departments there about why we needed more money Then I had an extra trick I would always call president Clinton on Christmas Eve and tell him I needed a little bit more money for USAID and I usually got it, so But I do think that the thing that happens is that not only did secretary Tillerson have a reorganization, but when Congress tried to give him extra money, he turned it down

and at the same time, there was no respect whatsoever for foreign service officers and there was really a sense that they were not, many of them were not loyal because they had worked for the Obama administration and previously for the Clinton administration and by the way, one of the things that I remember, I loved being secretary of state Believe, you know I’m sure those of you that know me, know that and I wish I could’ve done it forever, and I was really jealous of foreign service officers that got to stay, and then I thought it’s not easy to work for different administrations, but they are loyal Americans, not partisan And so I have been very concerned about what’s been going on with the State Department and the foreign service officers, and by the way the civil servants who are people that are work with the foreign service officers, and one of the positive things that I heard in Pompeo’s hearings was that he planned to do more to resurrect the State Department Part of the issue though is that it takes a while to get the ambassadors nominated and cleared, and then the part, and this is appropriate to talk about in this setting and those of you that are interested in the foreign service and foreign relations is I know what’s happening with my students at Georgetown A number of them come and say why should we take the foreign service exam? And so in addition to the overall problem now, it’s the problem about cutting off the pipeline So I do hope that people that are interested in foreign service do take the foreign service exam, and go into the government Now there are those people who will say I don’t want to be associated with the Trump administration I hate to tell you this, but you’re not going to have high level policy jobs And it is actually worth being there and knowing what goes on and how you can learn and what the system is about So take the exam and go – Last question Thank you – Hello secretary Albright, my name’s Eleanor I’m a junior undergrad at Korbel We’re here talking about your book and I recently listened to a podcast that you were on and you mentioned that president Clinton would have required reading for you So kind of in ending, what book do you wish everyone would read? – Well, mine obviously – [Eleanor] Besides, of course yours, but – Let me just say, there is not one book I really don’t think so In a weird way, one of the books that I recommend to everybody is War and Peace The bottom line is most of us read it when we were in high school and the girls liked the romance and the boys liked the battles, but the bottom line is there’s so much wisdom in it The only thing that I don’t agree with is the fatalism of Leo Tolstoy, but one of the things that I read to my class is this part where he says the higher you are in the government the less influence you actually have, and I think that’s kind of an interesting point, but I actually to go back since one of the major problems that we’re having, and I haven’t been asked a question on it is what’s going on in the Middle East? And the book that the president told me to read was a book called The Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin which describes the history of the modern Middle East, and the short version of the book is that the modern Middle East was created by the British and French bureaucracies lying to each other And creating artificial countries to a great extent, and then trying to meddle in what their activities were and the reason that I think it’s still a very good book to read is because I think we need to understand more and more the historical context of the things that are happening now in international relations which is the reason that in my book I go back to so much history, because we are all the products of our own background but countries have memories, and one of the issues at the moment that I think really needs to be looked at is hypernationalism, which really comes from people feeling that their country either was disrespected,, and they look for some reason that that happened or that the refugees that are coming out of the troubled Middle East or Africa because of desertification and there is, climate change is real The Earth is not flat, but that we need to understand the historical context So any book that gives you a historical context of issues that are going on now I think is very much worth reading – Well thank you so much, secretary Albright We know how busy you are and– – Thank you all Thanks so much for coming – It means so much to us for you to be here, thank you