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Passing of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

March 23, 2022

Statement from James B. Steimberg, Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, on the passing of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright


Many of you will now have heard that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has passed away. Secretary Albright was a towering figure in American foreign policy for nearly five decades, and a moral beacon for friends of democracy and human rights around the world. Her accomplishments are well known and too numerous even to begin to recount.  Her journey from a refugee fleeing the Nazis and later Communist oppression to the pinnacle of public service as Ambassador to the UN and US Secretary of State is a testament to the power of the American idea. We at SAIS are privileged to count her as one of our own, from her time studying Russian and International Relations in the 1960s. We were honored that she gave the keynote speech at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center’s 30th anniversary and graced us with her involvement at all three campuses.

For me, this is an enormous personal loss. I met Madeleine nearly 40 years ago, when she served as an advisor to former Vice President Mondale’s 1984 Presidential campaign. We worked together on many subsequent campaigns, some successful and some less so, ever since. I had the privilege of serving with her during the Clinton Administration, when her advocacy of the United States as the “indispensable nation” galvanized US policy in the post-Cold War era. She was a mentor, friend and inspiration to me and to generations of young foreign policy professionals. She will be deeply missed.