The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) thros to first during Texas A&M’s game against Louisiana at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Regional Final at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
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Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

First female secretary of state speaks at Texas A&M

Photo by Photo by Megan Cusick

Madeleine Albright was the first secretary of state under Bill Clinton.

The Bush school overflowed with members of the community on Election Day as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke on the vitality of bipartisanship in foreign affairs. 
Albright was the first female Secretary of State in 1997 under Bill Clinton, becoming the highest ranking woman in the history of the United States government at the time. Albright was the first secretary of state to visit North Korea and has since been recognized for her landmark contributions to international peace. During Tuesday’s lecture, Albright shared her insight on bipartisanship, the challenges presented by a globalized world and the ways democracy can overcome these issues. 
Though Albright served as a Democrat throughout her time in the state department, she emphasized the importance of reaching across the aisle, especially during a polarized midterm election.
“Whether our chosen candidates win or lose, we must all find ways to work together to further our shared interest instead of retreating into our separate camps,” Albright said. “Bipartisanship is important today, but it will be absolutely vital tomorrow.” 
Albright said she has faith in the resilience of democracy, despite the multiplication of divisions the country faces. 
“And at the same time, I am worried,” Albright said. “I worry about tensions on the Korean peninsula and the Middle East, and about the humanitarian catastrophes unfolding in Yemen and Syria. I worry about Vladimir Putin, who is trying to make Russia great again by asserting his influence in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, while undermining the West.”
According to Albright, the issues that have arisen can be explained by two forces: globalization and technology. 
“The same forces that have brought the world closer together, have made many people want to cling even more tightly to their ethnic, cultural and religious identities,” Albright said. “And when men and women feel insecure about the future, they tend to look for someone to blame — someone who isn’t like them. The outsiders, the strangers, the different, the immigrants and the refugees.” 
Albright said foreign policy is something that continually changes and its success depends on cooperation between both parties to address problems such as proliferation, terror, the global economy and development. 
Albright said these problems led her to three solutions: giving national security more options and tools, increasing education and perseverance in support for democracy. 
“There’s no question that our military must remain second-to-none,” Albright said. “We also have a profound interest in sustaining NATO, and helping the UN system adapt and in developing close and cooperative bilateral relationships across the globe.” 
An audience member asked Albright what she believes could improve human rights around the world and she said electing more women is essential.
“The other thing though, the reason I feel very comfortable saying this, is that I was actually the first secretary to bring women’s issues into the state department,” Albright said. “Not just because I’m a feminist, but because we know that when women are politically and economically empowered, societies are more stable.” 
Albright said one of the most important lessons she learned from her time in Washington is that the best leaders have a gift for listening, not just hearing themselves talk. 
“Without underestimating the challenges, I still firmly believe in America,” Albright said. “We believe of the rights and responsibilities of the individual, and of the power of each of us to make a difference.”
Davis Jones, CEO of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, read a letter from former president H.W. Bush, who was unable to attend the event. 
“If I were there, however, I would want to salute secretary Albright for her enduring commitment and selfless service to our country,” Bush said. “I could not be more pleased that she has come to the Bush center to share her thoughts and insights on our ever-changing world.”

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