Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell to take Zoom stage for first CLS event Nov. 16

Topics to span U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy in relation with the results of the recent elections.


Bosley Jarrett

Kirkland Hall on a warm and sunny January afternoon.

Immanual John Milton, Editor in Chief

Vanderbilt announced Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell as its first speakers for Vanderbilt’s 2021 Chancellor Lecture Series (CLS). The first event, hosted by Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and moderated by Professor Jon Meacham, will be held virtually on Monday, Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m. CST, according to a university announcement.

Albright and Powell, who served as the 64th and 65th United State Secretaries of State respectively, will speak to all members of the Vanderbilt community including parents of undergraduates and alumni. Members of the Vanderbilt community can register here.

Madeleine Albright

Albright, a graduate of Wellesley College with doctorate and master’s degrees from Columbia University, was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

She served as the United States’ permanent representative to the United Nations in 1993 under President Bill Clinton. Four years later, she was selected in 1997 by Clinton to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. In her four years as Secretary of State, Albright influenced U.S. foreign policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Middle East. In 2012, Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, from President Obama.

“During her tenure, she worked to enlarge NATO and helped lead the Alliance’s campaign against terror and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, pursued peace in the Middle East and Africa, sought to reduce the dangerous spread of nuclear weapons, and was a champion of democracy, human rights, and good governance across the globe,” the White House press release read.

Today, Albright teaches at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service as the Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy. In addition to her work for the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management LLC, she also is the chair for the National Democratic Institute and has written seven New York Times bestselling books.

Colin Powell

Born in Harlem, Powell went to New York public schools in the Bronx and eventually graduated from the City College of New York. He also later received an MBA from George Washington University.

While at City College of New York, Powell joined the Army ROTC program. After graduation, he received a commission as an Army second lieutenant and served in West Germany. Powell decided to stay in the Army even after his three-year obligation from ROTC was complete.

In 1962, Powell was sent to Saigon as an advisor and received a Purple Heart for his injury he sustained while in combat. After his second tour of duty in 1968-1969, Powell returned to the United States and was selected as White House Fellow in 1972. Powell then served as a battalion commander in Korea from 1973-1974. While in Korea, he was selected to attend the National War College. Later in his career, Powell was promoted to four-star general status under President George H.W. Bush.

After more tours of duty, Powell was eventually selected as national security advisor under President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989 and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Bush and Clinton from 1989 to 1993. Powell was appointed secretary of state under Bush from 2001 to 2005 and was involved in the American entry to the Iraq War

He’s received two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Congressional Medal and an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II over his career.

Over the years, CLS  has hosted notable political speakers from John Bolton, George W. Bush, Jeff Flake, Al Gore and Susan Rice.

“The Chancellor’s Lecture Series is Vanderbilt University’s flagship event series that strives to connect the university community with leaders and visionaries who are shaping our world,” the announcement read.