Madeleine Albright and Elisabeth Crum
Madeleine Albright and IWPR’s Elisabeth Crum

Last December I received an invitation to the Center for National Policy’s holiday party and anniversary celebration. I was especially intrigued when I caught the name of the guest speaker, none other than Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State and co-founder of the Center for National Policy. I consider myself an amateur political junky, and being able to meet women leaders of our nation is just too good to pass up. I RSVPed and awaited the event.
The night came and I was full of anticipation. Dr. Albright’s impressive resume and important work in foreign affairs inspires me. The physical and mental distance she traveled to achieve all the successes in her life shows my generation of women that the sky is the limit when it comes to your dreams. This woman is well known and well respected all over the world, and I get to hear her speak.
She made her way through the crowd, and although her short stature made it impossible to see her, a buzz filled the room so electric that you knew she was coming. I stopped her for a picture because I wanted to capture the moment and share it with everyone I know. When she finally reached the podium she spoke about the importance of diplomacy and healthy relations with other nations. She reminded the crowd that in this age of globalization no country can work alone, and I was struck by the passion and intensity in her voice. No longer a member of the Cabinet, Dr. Albright is clearly still committed to progress for our nation and for the world.
She closed with a comment about the value of seeing more women in top public offices, and I knew I needed to thank her. I approached her when she was finished and expressed my gratitude for her work. I told her she paved the way for women like me to achieve equal and higher posts globally. Her response was brief and to the point; she simply said, “that’s what it’s all about.” I couldn’t agree more.
– Elisabeth Crum