Women in Leadership

Madeleine Albright on Leadership, Immigration, and her Brooch Collection

November 13, 2019  • Amina Akhtar

“The Statue of Liberty is weeping right now,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright when we spoke to her at the Aspen Security Forum in July 2019. Albright sat down with host Amina Akhtar for a candid conversation. She discussed the current rhetoric attached to immigration, her long-time involvement with the Aspen Institute, and even her brooch collection.

In addition to being a professor in the practice of diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, she is chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and serves as an Aspen Institute trustee. “To be frank with you, it was the only board I wanted to be on,” said Albright, going on to reveal that she spent time in Aspen as a child.

Secretary Albright has said some things that will be a part of her legacy forever, like the unforgettable quote, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” In the conversation, she touches upon the value of lifting other women up. She prods other women to speak up during conversations. “This has probably happened to every woman. If you’re the only woman, you think to yourself, I’m going to say something today. And then you think, no, it’ll sound stupid. And then some man says it, and everyone thinks it’s really brilliant, and you’re really mad at yourself.”

Secretary Albright has always been a trailblazer and continues to make a statement, down to her accessories. On the question of brooches, how exactly does one store so many beautiful and unique pieces? Is there a temperature-controlled vault that can only be opened via retina scan? You’ll have to listen to find out.