Who is she: Condoleezza Rice was United States Secretary of State during the George W. Bush administration, 2005-2009. Rice had previously served as the National Security Advisor from 2001-2005. Before becoming part of the Bush Administration she had been provost at Stanford University, beginning at the school as an assistant professor and later associate professor until being appointed to the United States National Security Council from her provost position by then US Secretary of State Brent Scowcroft during the George H.W. Bush administration.
Rice was the only member of the George W. Bush cabinet to remain in office for the entire administration. She was Director of the National Security Council during the George H.W. Bush Administration with special emphasis on German and Russia relationships. When the younger Bush administration was formed as a restructuring of the former administration Rice was an obvious choice for National Security Advisor. In 2000 she had taken a leave of absence from teaching during the election cycle to shape Bush's foreign policy campaign position, claiming that the US military "would not be the world's 911." She also campaigned for Bush's re-election during 2004 while still in the National Security Adviser position, the first appointee to politicize that position.
Rice was a primary formulator of the Bush war policy during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, which she strongly supported based on her claims of suspicion that the Iraqi government was withholding evidence from the international arms inspection teams. She was essentially the public relations department for the advancement of Bush's policy to use intervention in Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein as a form of terrorist prevention. Invoking the analogy of the "mushroom cloud" as what may be the first warning, Rice implemented the fear tactic as a prime tool in the Bush administration rhetoric to establish the Patriot Act, which systematically chipped away at Constitutional protections and civil liberties in the United States.
Rice was nominated to the Secretary of State position immediately following the 2004 election when former Secretary of State Colin Powell resigned to pursue other interests, after realizing that his speech to the United Nations with respect to the Iraqi War contained manufactured evidence. The move was part of the realignment of the second George W. Bush term, which eventually resulted in the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld exactly two years later after the bad results, for Republicans, of the 2006 election. Secretary of State Rice was charged with maintaining diplomatic international relations for the United States with a defensive policy of aggression. Rumsfeld was replaced by Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates, who also served in the Obama administration.
Background: Rice received her Ph.D. from the University of Denver in 1981. She also earned her undergraduate degree at Denver, but chose Notre Dame to pursue her Master's degree. Rice began her academic career majoring in music, in particular piano, and in addition to her studies at the University of Denver, she studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Condoleezza Rice changed her major later after taking a political science course under Josef Korbel at the University of Denver. Korbel was the father of former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Rice had been a registered Democrat during her entire academic career, changing to a Republican during the Carter Administration because she disagreed with President Jimmy Carter's foreign policy.
Condoleezza Rice's area of expertise has been US foreign policy, as well as having co-authored a book on German reunification. Rice is the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute and also a senior fellow at the Institute for International Studies. She is currently a full professor with tenure at the University of Stanford.