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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: MADELEINE ALBRIGHT - STATESWOMAN

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Czech-born Madeleine Albright has one of the most interesting biographies of any government official in many years. Aside from having been the first female Secretary of State during President Clinton's Administration, Albright's journey to the US was certainly unusual.



Albright's parents were Czech Jews who converted to Roman Catholicism during the dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in the 1930s. The family fled to London in 1939 and then later returned to the Czech Republic where Albright's father Josef Korbel served as a diplomat in the years immediately following World War II. When the communists took power, the family moved permanently to the US. Albright did not learn about her Jewish heritage until she was serving as Secretary of State, something that was a complete shock to her. Korbel was a professor at the University of Denver and that is where Albright grew up in the US. Current Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was actually one of her father's students.



Albright's is certainly one of the elder statesmen in American foreign policy. The speaker of six languages began her career working in various foreign policy thinktanks as well as serving on the faculty of Georgetown University.  President Clinton initially appointed her as America's ambassador to the United Nations and later Secretary of State where she served until the end of his White House term.

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