Albright Receives Top Honor
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 02:04
Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and a Georgetown professor, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this spring. The award is the highest honor an American civilian can receive.
Albright served from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton as the first female secretary of state.
A White House press release applauded Albright for her role in expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, fighting terrorism and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and working to contain the spread of nuclear weapons.
One of her former students, John Tass-Parker (SFS ’13), described Albright as the ideal recipient of the award, which recognizes contributions to the interests of the United States or other significant endeavors.
“She is an incredible individual and embodies the spirit of the United States and what it stands for. She is the ultimate recipient for it,” Tass-Parker said.
According to Dane Shikman (SFS ’13), who is a student in Albright’s “America’s National Security Toolbox” class, her experience makes Albright an effective professor.
“It is one of those classes that at the end of four years will make my Georgetown experience unique. It makes you feel proud of what you did here at Georgetown,” Shikman said.
Carol Lancaster, dean of the School of Foreign Service, echoed student praise of the former secretary, who is now the Mortara distinguished professor of diplomacy at Georgetown. Lancaster wrote in an email that the award will serve to recognize Albright’s impressive service as a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, secretary of state and in other government positions.
“We are also very pleased and grateful that our students can learn from professor Albright and her wide-ranging experiences in foreign policy,” she wrote.
Speaking about all of this year’s recipients, President Barack Obama said he looked forward to recognizing their achievements.
“[The recipients] have challenged us, they’ve inspired us and they’ve made the world a better place,” he said.
Albright is one of two Georgetown professors who will receive the award this year. World War II Polish resistance fighter and former Georgetown professor Jan Karski (GRD ‘52) will receive the medal posthumously.
Hoya Staff Writer Margaret Viator contributed to this report.