Madeleine K. Albright, the 64th U.S. Secretary of State, will receive the 2008 George Catlett Marshall Medal, the highest award presented by the Association of the United States Army. Awarded annually to an individual who has exhibited selfless service to the United States of America, the medal will be presented to Dr. Albright by the Association's Council of Trustees to recognize her lifelong contributions to international diplomacy, national security, exemplary public service to the nation and her commitment to the highest American ideals.
The award presentation will take place on October 8, 2008, at the George Catlett Marshall Memorial Dinner, which is the final event of the three-day AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
"For over three decades Dr. Albright has been a prominent, credible and well respected public servant on the world stage, fighting effectively to reinforce America's alliances overseas and to establish and bolster democracy and human rights as a way of life," said AUSA President Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA Ret. "While enhancing the national security of the United States, Dr. Albright influenced our American policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Croatia, Russia, China and the Middle East. As a wellrecognized and highly respected voice in articulating our nation's national defense, national security and diplomatic policies, she remains an internationally known leader, using her unique and singular talents with dedication and tenacity, usually under extraordinary and complex circumstances. She is truly deserving of AUSA's highest award."
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Dr. Albright and her family came to the United States in 1948. She later earned a B.A. with honors in political science from Wellesley College and master's and doctorate degrees from Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government. Fluent in French, Czech and Russian with abilities in German, Polish and Serbo-Croatian, Dr. Albright also studied at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and at Columbia University's Russian Institute.
Dr. Albright served as Chief Legislative Assistant to Sen. Edmund S. Muskie (D-Maine) and later worked as a staff member of the National Security Council and as a White House staff member during the Carter administration. Following the Carter administration, Dr. Albright served as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and later as a senior fellow in Soviet and Eastern European affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
From 1982 to 1993, Dr. Albright was on the faculty of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and from 1989 to 1992 served as President of the Center for National Policy. At Georgetown, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, and Central and Eastern European politics. She also developed and implemented programs designed to enhance women's professional opportunities in the field of international affairs.
On January 27, 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Dr. Albright as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. At the U.N. she was known as a forceful and spirited promoter of America's interests and encouraged the United Nations to engage more actively in world affairs.
During President Clinton's second term, Dr. Albright was appointed to the position of Secretary of State. Sworn in on January 23, 1997, Dr. Albright was the first female secretary of State and became, at the time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. During her tenure, Dr. Albright faced a variety of complex and often controversial international issues and events. She was credited for her leadership in expanding and modernizing NATO and inspiring this body's successful campaign to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.