Thousands Visit Campus to Hear Condoleezza Rice Discuss 'America's National Security and the World'

Condoleezza Rice speaks at the 2018 Boe Forum on Public Affairs at Augustana University

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed “America’s National Security and the World” before a packed house of nearly 4,000 on Tuesday night for the 2018 Boe Forum on Public Affairs.

The event, presented by the Center for Western Studies and Augustana University, was held in the Elmen Center.

Rice, who also served as national security advisor under President George W. Bush during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, outlined a number of factors affecting America’s national security including, what she called “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: populism, nativism, protectionism and isolationism.”

Rice explained that the 2016 U.S. presidential election, one she described as the “Do you hear me now?” election, provided an opportunity for those figurative horsemen to ride out from the shadows.

“(The election) was a desperate cry from people for whom the system didn’t work,” she said. “We need an answer as a society and as a country to ‘Do you hear me now?’ or America won’t be confident enough to lead.”

What America has going for it, Rice said, is technology, energy and a belief in human potential.

On technology, Rice said that “how it’s used and applied is what makes it good or bad.”

“If we show wisdom to use our knowledge, technology can be a partial answer to ‘Do you hear me now?’”

On energy, Rice said “North America has a chance to be the most stable provider of energy.”

And on human potential, Rice talked about the possibility she sees in future generations.

"I teach in a university and this is the most public-minded generation of college students I’ve ever taught. They want to serve."

— Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Aspirations are what unite Americans, Rice said, so “the crisis in K-12 education might be the greatest national security threat we face. Education is the answer to ‘Do you hear me now?’”

American ingenuity, innovation and compassion are answers, too, Rice said.

“America has faced tall orders before and has overcome them. If we are to sustain who we are then we have to stay in the game and we have to be confident,” she said.

Ahead of the Boe Forum, Rice spoke to journalism students from area high schools as well as Augustana journalism and government majors. See how #AugieJourno students chronicled Rice's visit on social media

2018 Boe Forum on Public Affairs with Dr. Condoleezza Rice

About Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of political science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC.

From January 2005-09, Rice served as the 66th secretary of state of the United States, the second woman and first African-American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s national security advisor from January 2001-05, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993-99, during which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.

From 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as director; senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs; and special assistant to the President for national security affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As professor of political science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors — the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.

She has authored numerous books, including two best sellers, “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington” (2011) and “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family” (2010); and co-authored “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft” (1995) with Philip Zelikow; “The Gorbachev Era” (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and “Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army” (1984). Rice is also the author of “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom” (2017).

In 1991, Rice cofounded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (an affiliate club of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Dallas. She remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after-school programs.

Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master's degree from the University of Notre Dame; and her doctor of philosophy degree from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Rice is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates. She currently resides in Stanford, California.

About the Boe Forum

Through the Boe Forum on Public Affairs, the Center for Western Studies has hosted many of the world’s most influential leaders. Past Boe Forum speakers are:

  • Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (2017)
  • Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (2016, in memoriam)
  • Microsoft Executive Robbie Bach (2014)
  • Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore Jon Huntsman (2013)
  • Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen (2012)
  • U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson (2011)
  • U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (2010)
  • President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf (2009)
  • Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor (2008)
  • President and First Lady of Mexico Vicente Fox and Marta Fox (2007)
  • Vice President Al Gore (2007)
  • Presidential Envoy to Iraq L. Paul Bremer (2006)
  • Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani (2004)
  • Susan Dentzer together with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (2003)
  • Jordan's Queen Noor (2001)
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999)
  • First Lady of the United States Barbara Bush (1998)
  • Prime Minister of Great Britain John Major (1998)
  • President of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev (1996)
  • President George H. W. Bush (1995)
  • Gen. Colin Powell (1995)

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Media Relations