- Deep foreign affairs experience, including ambassadorships and White House advisory positions
- Served in two previous presidential administrations, so she has important knowledge about the mechanisms of Capitol Hill
- Grew up entrenched in Washington politics, so she has deep and influential relationships
Susan Rice served as national security adviser to President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, she was on the staff of the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, and was just 32 when Clinton appointed her assistant secretary of state for Africa, making her one of the youngest appointees ever to hold that position. Her responsibilities included overseeing the actions of more than 40 nations and 5,000 foreign service officials.
Rice gained notoriety for being a firm negotiator and quick study of complex foreign relations. Prior to being tapped by Obama to serve as his national security adviser, her skill led him to select her to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 2009. The Senate unanimously confirmed her for this appointment.
Rice comes from a politically entrenched family whose relationships gave her a bird’s eye view of the federal political apparatus. She grew up in Washington, D.C., and Madeleine Albright, also a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the first female Secretary of State, was Rice’s mentor. She received her B.A. in history from Stanford University, and the Rhodes scholar received her Ph.D. in philosophy from New College, Oxford.