Skip to main content Skip to footer

December 7, 2021

66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to give virtual talk at SVSU in January

The country’s former top foreign affairs adviser to the president of the United States, Condoleezza Rice, will be the keynote speaker for the 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Celebration, hosted by Saginaw Valley State University in collaboration with the Bay Area, Midland Area and Saginaw community foundations.

Rice’s keynote remarks will be streamed Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. Individuals may register to attend virtually at The celebration is free of charge.

From January 2005 to January 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States — the second woman and first Black woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s national security adviser from January 2001 to January 2005 — the first woman to hold the position.

Rice currently serves as the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, and since September 1, 2020, has served as the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution.

Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military. From February 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as director, then senior director, of Soviet and East European Affairs, as well as special assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As professor of political science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the university’s highest teaching honors — the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.

She has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth (2019), co-authored with Philip Zelikow. Among her other volumes are three bestsellers, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017); No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011); and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010). She also wrote Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; edited The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and penned The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance (1984).

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master’s in the same subject from the University of Notre Dame; and her Ph.D., likewise in political science, from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and has been awarded 15 honorary doctorates.

Rice joins a prestigious list of keynote speakers featured during the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Celebration at SVSU. Previous speakers include political commentator Van Jones in 2021; Ruth D. Jones, a trailblazer at NASA in 2020; Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, in 2019; Karen Carter, the chief inclusion officer for Dow, in 2018; and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2017.

In addition to the keynote address by Rice, the Jan. 19 program will include the presentation of regional scholarship awards by the Bay Area, Midland Area and Saginaw community foundations to high school seniors who have embodied Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideals. Officials also will announce the winners of the Drum Major Awards, which recognize those whose community involvement in the Great Lakes Bay Region advances King's vision.