Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937) is an American politician and diplomat. She is the first female United States Secretary of State in U.S. history, having served from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.Along with her family, Albright immigrated to the United States in 1948 from Czechoslovakia. Her father, diplomat Josef Korbel, settled the family in Denver, and she became a U.S. citizen in 1957. Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959 and earned a PhD from Columbia University in 1975, writing her thesis on the Prague Spring. She worked as an aide to Senator Edmund Muskie before taking a position under Zbigniew Brzezinski on the National Security Council. She served in that position until the end of President Jimmy Carter's singular term in 1981.After leaving the National Security Council, Albright joined the academic faculty of Georgetown University and advised Democratic candidates regarding foreign policy. After Clinton's victory in the 1992 presidential election, she helped assemble his National Security Council. In 1993, Clinton appointed her to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She held that position until 1997, when she succeeded Warren Christopher as Secretary of State, serving until Clinton left office in 2001.
Albright has served as chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group since 2009, and is currently the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. In May 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama. Secretary Albright also serves as a director on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations.
She is also known as Marie Jana Körbelová, Marie Jana Korbelová, Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright, Madeleine Korbel Albright and Marie Jana Korbelova.