By Ella Booker
Former U.S. Secretary of State, former provost and lauded business and political science professor Condoleezza Rice will serve as the director of the Hoover Institution beginning in September 2020. Rice was also a Stanford provost from 1993 to 1999, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and has been at Stanford since 1981.
“The country faces hard questions about how to provide greater opportunity for our fellow citizens; how to strengthen our democracy; how to protect the environment while continuing to grow the economy; and how to conceive of America’s role in a changing world.” Rice wrote in a statement to The Daily.
“The impact of technology weaves through all of these concerns,” she added. “Hoover is a policy research institution within one of America’s best universities — and we reside in the Silicon Valley. There is no better place to ask questions and seek answers and try to make an impact.”
The Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank founded in 1919, “seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity, while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all mankind,” according to its website.
The Institution, located adjacent to Main Quad, was established as a library and archives space and, in 1959, became an independent institution within Stanford. Over the years, it has been the target of some criticism from students, faculty and alumni for its right-leaning bias interrupting its academic mission as a campus establishment.
Rice will replace Director Thomas W. Gilligan, who assumed the role in 2015 and served as a Hoover senior fellow, as well as a visiting faculty member in the Business School.
Gilligan announced his retirement last Summer and Hoover, along with University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, assembled a 10-member search committee — made up of Stanford faculty and senior fellows at the Hoover Institution and a variety of other Stanford institutes — to find a new director.
President Tessier-Lavigne expressed his praise for Rice in a press release, saying that “her accomplishments as a scholar, strategic thinker, and public servant and her deep commitment to Hoover make her the ideal leader for defining the next chapter in Hoover’s long and distinguished history.”
Rice held numerous positions within the George H.W. Bush administration, namely as Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council. In 2005, Rice became the 66th Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush. In her role, Rice developed the policy of “Transformational Diplomacy” aimed at widening the influence of democratic governments, especially in the Middle East.
Rice transcended barriers; she was the second female Secretary of State and second African-American Secretary of State.
In her role as director, Rice aims to foster a closer relationship between Hoover and the Stanford community: “I also hope to increase Hoover’s contact with Stanford students, who can take advantage of special events and engage with the Hoover Senior Fellows in shared areas of interest.”