2006 Great Immigrants Recipient

Madeleine Albright
U.S. Secretary of State (1997–2001)
Born in:
Czech Republic

“We are a country that has been created and populated by people from other countries, and so the Statue of Liberty’s message is in fact, one of open arms and welcoming people.” Born in 1937 in Prague, Albright came to the United States as a refugee at the age of 11. In a 2016 email to the White House, she wrote, “Becoming a U.S. citizen is the most important thing that ever happened to me.” Albright was confirmed as the first female U.S. secretary of state in 1997, serving under President Bill Clinton. During her tenure, she worked to advance human rights, curb nuclear weapons, enlarge NATO, and mend Arab-Israeli relations. Albright has also written several New York Times bestsellers, including Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003), The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006), Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box (2009), Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948 (2012) and most recently Fascism: A Warning (2018). In 2007 Albright launched the private investment fund Albright Capital Management; she is also chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm. In 2012 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Updated 2018