Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, it was announced today on The Diane Rehm Show.
“I am grateful for being an American, and I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve, so I can’t tell you how pleased I am,” Albright said during an interview with Rehm on today’s program.
Albright, who served as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton from 1997-2001, joined The Diane Rehm Show to discuss the United States’ role on the global stage and U.S. policy toward fledgling democracies. She is the author of the new book, Prague Winter, which details how her world view was affected by her family’s flight from Czechoslovakia during Nazi occupation and her Jewish roots.
Rehm read on air a statement released by the White House today, in which President Barack Obama said: “Madeleine Albright made history as the first woman to serve as secretary of state, and her life story is an inspiration to all Americans. Today, her scholarship and insight continue to make the world a better, more peaceful place. I look forward to awarding her with the Medal of Freedom.”
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Audio and a full transcript of today’s conversation will be available online.