An interview with Condoleezza Rice


Junior Joseph Lee met with former Secretary of State Condelezza Rice on her Oct. 3 visit to Pittsburg.

Story by Joseph Lee, Co-Editor-In-Chief

On Oct. 3rd, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Pittsburg State University to give a lecture as a part of the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. Preceding the lecture, Rice designated time to meet with student journalists from The Booster and Collegio.

As a c0-editor in chief, I had the privilege of meeting Rice for a 10-minute interview to discuss foreign affairs during her term, components of her personal life and current politics. 

Rice served as national security adviser in 2001 and was the 66th Secretary of State under President George W. Bush starting in 2005, holding both jobs as the first black woman to do so.  

Some of the key policies Rice dealt with during her time of service included war efforts and peace talk in Iraq and Afghanistan, negotiations with Israel concerning the Gaza Strip, and conversation concerning dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program. 

According to Rice, the most unforgettable time during her service was Sep. 11, 2001. 

“Unfortunately, nothing prepared us for [the attacks]. They were really a shock,” Rice said. “Everything changed about national security from then on.” 

Rice shared how eye-opening the experience was to see nations across the world send their condolences. According to Rice, countries like Russia and Germany publicly denounced the attacks, showing support for the United States. 

“You realize what the United States means to the rest of the world,” Rice said. 

Rice grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and was a firsthand witness to Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights leadership during the bombings and protests. 

When questioned about the potential effects her race and upbringing may have had on the public’s perception of her role in office, Rice says she was met with support. 

“It does say so much about how far our country has come [in terms of] progress,” Rice said. 

According to Rice, she aspired to be a concert pianist when she was young. Rice shared that her musical upbringing helped prepare her for her political life. 

“[Playing the piano] helped me deal with my nerves. [You learn] the importance of preparation. You have to know the piece 190%,” Rice said. “In music, you can’t procrastinate.”

Rice continues in her musical career, notably having performed for Queen Elizabeth II and at the Kennedy Center. 

In addition to her musical life, Rice has a passion for golf and is an avid sports fan. Rice was one of the first two women to become a member of the Augusta National Golf Club, an organization known for excluding women’s participation. Rice also served as head of the Commission on College Basketball. According to Rice, her favorite sport to watch is football. 

Rice currently teaches at Stanford University as a graduate school professor in Global Business and the Economy. Rice served as provost for the university prior to her time in the Capitol. 

To conclude the interview, Rice extended guidance to young people looking to make  change. 

“Find some means of doing service. [There are] lots of people who don’t get the same opportunities,” Rice said. “Make things hard and work on a campaign, on an issue you care about.”