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Remembering Secretary Albright

Our Founder Anne Welsh McNulty reflects on the legacy of former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

I know that all of us are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and partner, Madeleine Albright. There is almost too much to say about the first woman to serve as US Secretary of State - a refugee from Communist Czechoslovakia, a professor of political science at Georgetown, a fierce advocate of democracy, women’s rights, and for human agency everywhere. She was possessed with a brilliant, powerful, and infinitely curious mind. To us, at the McNulty Foundation, she was the Chair of our McNulty Prize Jury. With insights on every topic, her probing questions made us and the Prize Laureates stronger, and we absorbed her endless belief in the ability of people to find solutions that benefit everyone.

Speaking personally, I was grateful to get to know Madeleine through the Aspen Institute, beginning with our amateur production of Antigone where I played Ismene to her Antigone. While the play may not have gone on tour, the friendship lasted and we often kidded about being sisters. Madeleine was everything she appears to be from a distance - incredibly smart, infinitely knowledgeable, and able to charm anyone like a true diplomat - as well as everything you would hope up close: funny, human, warm, and kind. While the world owes Madeleine Albright for her contributions to peace, I owe her for friendship that came at a time I really needed it and lasted until the end.

Secretary Albright was the rare public persona who was as impressive as a private person as they were in public life. We will miss her as a leader, we will miss her as a voice for human rights and democracy, we will miss her as our Chair, and I will miss my friend.

Anne Welsh McNulty

Secretary Albright and the McNulty Prize community at the 2019 Action Forum

Secretary Albright and 2019 McNulty Prize Laureates

Secretary Albright speaking at the 2017 Global Philanthropy Forum

Secretary Albright and the McNulty Prize community at the 2017 Action Forum

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