Yet Another Stanford Grad, Susan Elizabeth Rice UN Ambassador
Susan Elizabeth Rice, a key adviser on foreign policy to Barack Obama during his campaign for the presidency, is a member of the advisory committee for the Obama transition and has been mentioned for several positions in President-elect Obama's administration, including deputy national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations.
Ms. Rice spent eight years at the White House and the State Department under President Clinton. She was a member of the National Security Council staff, first as director for international organizations and peacekeeping, and then as a special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs. From 1997 to 2001, she was assistant secretary of state for African affairs. She has special expertise in the problems posed by weak and failed states, global poverty and transnational security threats.
A protégé of Madeleine K. Albright when Ms. Albright was secretary of state, Ms. Rice catapulted over more veteran officials in 1997 when she was given the job as assistant secretary of state. She also has had experience with Al Qaeda Ms. Rice was the top diplomat for African issues during the 1998 terrorist bombings of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
She has been a member of Mr. Obama's inner circle for more than two years. She showed early loyalty to him despite her ties to the Clinton administration, signing on with Mr. Obama at a time when Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was presumed to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
She potentially faces tough questioning, however, because of her role in American policy toward Rwanda during the 1994 genocide when she was a member of a Clinton administration team that kept the United States on the sidelines. She told The Atlantic Monthly in 2001 that she had learned a lesson: "I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required."
She and Condoleezza Rice, the current secretary of state, are both female African-American foreign policy experts who have ties to Stanford University, but they are not related.
She was born on Nov. 17, 1964, and is the daughter of a former governor on the Federal Reserve Board. She earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford and both a master's degree and a doctorate in international relations from New College at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. After the Clinton administration, Ms. Rice was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and was also a foreign policy adviser to John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004. She is married to Ian Cameron, the Canadian-born executive producer of ABC News's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." They have two children.