Madeleine Jane Korben Albright is an American diplomat, politician and professor, known as the first female Secretary of State of the United States of America. She belongs to the Democratic Party. The first big break in her career came in 1978 when she was made the congressional liaison of the ‘National Security Council’ in the White House. She went from strength to strength in a political career that saw her scale new heights, and eventually appointed the ‘Secretary of State’ in 1995 by Bill Clinton. In 1997, she became a Senator. Other than that, she is a member of the board of Council of Foreign Relations and also serves as an International Relations professor at ‘Georgetown University’ in Washington. Albright has also been a noted author and some of her noted works include ‘Madame Secretary’, ‘Memo to the President Elect’, ‘The Mighty and the Almighty’ and ‘Read My Pins’. In all these books, her thoughts on politics and her worldview as a seasoned politician shine through. She is without doubt one of the most important figures in modern politics in the United States. Her beliefs and thoughts are also apparent in the following collection of quotes and sayings which have been excerpted from her writings, interviews, speeches, public interactions and tweets. Let us browse through simple, sensible and inspirational quotes and thoughts by Madeleine Albright.
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."
(Keynote speech at Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA's All-Decade Team, 2006)
A lot of people think international relations is like a game of chess. But it's not a game of chess, where people sit quietly, thinking out their strategy, taking their time between moves. It's more like a game of billiards, with a bunch of balls clustered together.
No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it is holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being, so the goal is to always establish common ground.
The magic of America is that we're a free and open society with a mixed population. Part of our security is our freedom.
I have to tell you, my seven-year-old granddaughter said to my daughter, her mother, 'So what's the big deal about Grandma Maddy having been Secretary of State? Only girls are Secretaries of State.' Most of her lifetime, it's true. But at the time it really was a big deal.
I think women are really good at making friends and not good at networking. Men are good at networking and not necessarily making friends. That's a gross generalization, but I think it holds in many ways.
I am a beneficiary of the American people's generosity, and I hope we can have comprehensive immigration legislation that allows this country to continue to be enriched by those who were not born here.
Jewelry and pins have been worn throughout history as symbols of power, sending messages. Interestingly enough, it was mostly men who wore the jewelry in various times, and obviously crowns were part of signals that were being sent throughout history by people of rank.
But I do not believe that the world would be entirely different if there were more women leaders. Maybe if everybody in leadership was a woman, you might not get into the conflicts in the first place. But if you watch the women who have made it to the top, they haven't exactly been non-aggressive - including me.
One of the issues I kept saying to my students is you have to learn to interrupt. When you raise your hand at a meeting, by the time they get to you, the point is not germane. So the bottom line is active listening. If you are going to interrupt, you look for opportunities. You have to know what you're talking about.
One of the things that was really an issue was I did not want to just be a woman secretary of state. I wanted to be a secretary of a state who was a woman, but not just chosen for that particular reason.
I do believe that in order to be a successful negotiator that as a diplomat, you have to be able to put yourself into the other person's shoes. Unless you can understand what is motivating them, you are never going to be able to figure out how to solve a particular problem.
While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile.
Our strategic dialogue with China can both protect American interests and uphold our principles, provided we are honest about our differences on human rights and other issues and provided we use a mix of targeted incentives and sanctions to narrow these differences.
Iraq is a long way from the U.S., but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.
The day-to-day making of policy is arguing all the time. You're trying to get the right approach and the right answer, and there are moments that aren't very pleasant. But in the end, you look at the overall product.
I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid that Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy - worse than Vietnam, not in the number who died, but in terms of its unintended consequences and its reverberation throughout the region.
Even before I went to the UN, I often would want to say something in a meeting - only woman at the table - and I'd think, 'OK well, I don't think I'll say that. It may sound stupid.' And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it's completely brilliant, and you are so mad at yourself for not saying something.
If you look at U.S. history through religious history, there is very much a motif that shows the importance religion has played in the U.S. We're a very religious country and it affects the way we look at various political issues.
It's one thing to be religious, but it's another thing to make religion your policy.
I think that we all know what evil is. We have a sense of what's evil, and certainly killing innocent people is evil. We're less sure about what is good. There's sort of good, good enough, could be better - but absolute good is a little harder to define.
The capability of negotiating... is something that means you not only have to understand fully what you believe and what your national interests are but in order to be a really good negotiator, you have to try to figure out what the other person on the other side of the table has in mind.
And so I have studied, I have to tell you, revolutions and uprisings for a long time. They are all slightly different, but what they all look for is some kind of a mechanism to go from an authoritarian system to an open, democratic system.
I didn't want to set up a women's studies program. I thought women should learn to operate in a coeducational atmosphere, because, especially in national security and international affairs, it's male-dominated.
And so I think that the idea of America working with other countries to solve problems is good for us, and it is part of digging us out of the 'my way or the highway' approach that was evident in the previous eight years.
This is pure speculation, but for a period of time, a lot of getting into a party was through fundraising and volunteer work, and Republican women had more time to do that than democratic women, who were out there getting jobs.
I really think that there was a great advantage in many ways to being a woman. I think we are a lot better at personal relationships, and then have the capability obviously of telling it like it is when it's necessary.
Well I do think, when there are more women, that the tone of the conversation changes, and also the goals of the conversation change. But it doesn't mean that the whole world would be a lot better if it were totally run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten high school.
Maybe if everybody in leadership was a woman, you might not get into the conflicts in the first place. But if you watch the women who have made it to the top, they haven't exactly been non-aggressive - including me.
I am often asked if, when I was secretary, I had problems with foreign men. That is not who I had problems with, because I arrived in a very large plane that said United States of America. I had more problems with the men in our own government.
I have always seen the United States as a force of good. And I have learned that there is the idealistic part about what we can do at the U.N. and there is a doable part. And I have learned what is more doable.
Really, I have to laugh because there was a whole set of stories that made me sound like the Dragon Lady, you know, 'tough this and tough that.' Then there is this business about 'gooey.' The bottom line is I am a pragmatic idealist.