All Articles Tagged "Susan Rice"
Career Redemption: Susan Rice Didn’t Become Secretary Of State, Will Be Appointed National Security Adviser
Susan Rice, the UN Ambassador that caused a firestorm of controversy over the handling of the tragedy in Benghazi and had to withdraw from the running to become Secretary of State, is now going to be appointed national security adviser. The move is being seen as a “defiant gesture” by the White House towards Republicans who had Rice in their cross hairs. It’s also shows that even when it looks like, professionally, things are going in the wrong direction, redemption could be on the way.
Rice had been rumored to take the spot months ago. The current national security adviser, Tom Donilon, had planned to leave before the start of President Obama’s second term, but stayed on to help with the new additions to the foreign relations team, namely Secretary of State John Kerry Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and CIA director John O. Brennan.
According to The New York Times, Donilon has been the source of some recent controversy over reports about the poor workplace dynamic between he and his colleagues. Donilon, who steps down in July, is credited with a number of foreign relations achievements, most prominently, in Asia.
Even after the firestorm over her actions and comments in the aftermath of the attack in Benghazi (the incident is still being investigated and nothing has shows that Rice did anything imprudent), President Obama continued to stand by Susan Rice. Aside from that she has served as a trusted confidante to the President, is a Rhodes Scholar, and served as the senior director of African affairs under President Clinton. So, yes, very qualified. And for this job, she doesn’t need Senate approval. So there isn’t much Congressional Republicans can do to stop this.
President Obama is also expected to appoint Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize winning human rights expert, to take Rice’s post.
It wasn’t that long ago with Susan Rice was under fire. News reports were filled with negative comments from conservatives who bombarded the UN ambassador over her inability to fully answer questions related to the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of an American official and three others in Benghazi, Libya. She was ultimately pushed out of contention for the Secretary Of State job. It was a humiliating turn of events.
Now according to Keli Goff in her blog for The Root, Rice is making a comeback. The ambassador is said to be the Obama administration’s front-runner for national security adviser.
Since the national security adviser is not an official cabinet post, it does not require Senate confirmation. Yet, as Goff points out, “the post is one of the most influential within a presidential administration in terms of shaping high-level foreign policy.”
Take a look at past national security advisers; Condoleezza Rice (no relation), for example, used the role as a stepping-stone to secretary of state under George W. Bush.
Susan Rice would be only the second woman to serve in the position.
If all goes as rumored Rice’s appointment could also help President Obama. “His administration has struggled with criticism regarding the lack of gender and racial diversity among both his cabinet and high-level advisers,” blogs Goff.
After months of slander from the Republican party about her response to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Susan Rice, the current United States Ambassador to the United Nations, has decided to withdraw her name from the consideration of the Secretary of State.
In a letter to President Obama, Rice said that she decided to remove her name from the running because her confirmation process would be a distraction from the real issues. “If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.”
The president accepted her decision.
Rice, who graduated from Stanford University with honors, is a Rhodes scholar and earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Oxford University has been described as “not bright” by Republican senator John McCain.
On December 10, it was announced that McCain joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is charge of screening the Secretary of State nominee.
It seems that Rice felt McCain’s presence on this committee would make the whole confirmation proceeding messy. In her letter to the president, she said: “The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized.”
After hearing the news that Rice withdrew her name, Senator McCain thanked her for her service but said he would continue to seek the facts.
It’s rumored that aside from Rice, senator and former presidential hopeful, John Kerry, was President Obama’s second choice.
What do you think about Rice’s decision to withdraw her name? Do you think it was the right move to make?
While the GOP is working hard to keep Susan Rice, currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, from becoming the next Secretary of State, other groups are working even harder to get her approved.
A diverse group of African-American women leaders joined together today to show their support for Rice. The group teamed up with the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), an intergenerational civic engagement network of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, to launch a campaign to “express their unequivocal support of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice and to encourage Senate and congressional leaders to treat the esteemed public servant with respect,” announced a press release.
“It is important that women from all walks of life come together to push back when we see someone being treated unfairly not because of her work, but due to politics. Ambassador Rice has had a stellar career and has served this country with great dignity. We can not sit back and allow those who long for the days when white male privilege persisted in America to ruin the Ambassador´s reputation,” Melanie L. Campbell, president of the National Coalition and convener of BWR, tells us via email. “It’s a new day and Black, White, Caribbean, Asian and Latino women have come together to say, not on our watch! We are demanding that Ambassador Rice be given the proper respect appropriate for any other Cabinet-level member of a sitting Administration.”
The group of high-profile women signed an open letter to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Among those who signed are: Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, National Council of Negro Women; former Essence editor Susan L. Taylor, CEO and founder, National CARES Mentoring Movement; actress Vivica A. Fox, president, Foxy Brown Productions; and Dr. Natalia A. Francisco, founder and executive director, Women of Worth & Worship, LLC.
According to the press release, the letter sent to Senate intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that Ambassador Rice “has excelled throughout her career both in the public and private sector. Her commitment to international peace and the equality of all people should be heralded, not summarily dismissed for political gain and expedience.”
The letter even addressed the Benghazi incident as it pointed out, “While some members of the Senate have pushed back on their rush to judgment in the press regarding Ambassador Rice’s prepared remarks on the attack in Benghazi, we feel that the public integrity and reputation of this brilliant woman, who serves our country with great dignity, has been unfairly and unnecessarily attacked.”
Rice also got a major show of support from the incoming Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Rep. Marcia Fudge, who at a recent press conference vigorously defended Rice’s qualification and accused the GOP of being both racist and sexist. She stated, “women and minorities tend to be the target of Republican attacks when they lose to Democrats,” reports The Loop 21.
In addition to the letter there is an online petition in support of Ambassador Rice. The twitter hashtag is #SupportAmbassadorRice.
What do you think of the Susan Rice backlash?
Barely a week after we wrote our commentary about women in power in Washington, we have the ongoing hysteria from Republicans over Susan Rice and her as-yet-undeclared nomination for Secretary of State.
Rice made the rounds in September after the attack in Benghazi, reporting what she said the intelligence indicated — that a protest in that Libyan city that resulted in the death of UN Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others was a response to an anti-Muslim film. That was later found to be false. Republicans believe she was purposefully misleading and politically motivated, trying to help President Obama during the final weeks of the election.
For two days, Rice, who now serves as the US’ UN ambassador, has been meeting with Republican Congress members in an attempt to explain how things went down. And for two days, these Congress members have expressed heightened dissatisfaction with Rice’s responses.
Sens. John McCain (AZ), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and Lindsay Graham (SC) are among the Republicans who have vocally stated their opposition to Rice.
“The concerns I have today are greater than they were before,” the LA Times quotes Sen. Graham.
Today, even more members of the GOP piled on, including moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who said that the handling of this situation “echoes” Rice’s handling of a 1998 attack on two American embassies in Africa. Some Senators have promised to block any nomination of Rice to the Secretary of State position.
For his part, President Obama once again came to Ambassador Rice’s defense, calling her “extraordinary” and adding that he “[c]ouldn’t be prouder of the job that she’s done.” Current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton led a round of applause for her.
Sen. Ayotte has responded to charges that the harsh criticism of Rice is rooted in racism and/or sexism. “I think it’s absolutely false,” she said on Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly (h/t Politico). The site already says that Rice’s chances of being Secretary of State are “fading.”
Just as an African-American woman was on the cusp of a nomination for one of the most powerful and visible positions in government, it looks like it may not happen.
You probably see these people every day, especially if you work in a large office with various managers. Each leader has different characteristics.
Recently, Forbes looked at “The 9 Corporate Personality Types And How to Inspire Them to Innovate.” It inspired us to look at well-known African-American corporate executives. Do you agree with us?
BAMBI: Sherri Shepherd
“Almost every new recruit starts out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They are fresh hard drives ready to be filled with data. You can get them to do almost anything. They walk into meetings armed with fresh slides, broad smiles, and a professionalism they’ve practiced in interviews, in school, and in the mirror,” writes Forbes.
Although she has been with The View for more than a minute, Sherri Shepherd is still comes to the table every morning with newbie enthusiasm. Shepherd recently launched her own wig line, as we reported.
It’s a select group of college students who can claim the title of a Rhodes Scholar. This year, a record three African-American female students were just chosen for the honor.
Joy A. Buolamwini, Rhiana E. Gunn-Wright, and Nina M. Yancy will be off to study at the UK’s Oxford University next year. The three women beat out 1,700 other American students who sought the scholarship.
The Rhodes Scholarships are considered by many to be the most prestigious awards given to U.S. college students. It was created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, an industrialist who made a fortune in colonial Africa. “Each year, 32 Americans are named Rhodes Scholars. The scholarships provide funds for two or three years of graduate study at Oxford University in Britain,” writes The Journal of Blacks in Education (JBHE).
Rhodes Scholars are also picked from 14 other destinations around the world for a total of about 80 Rhodes Scholars worldwide annually. Among the famous Rhodes Scholars are United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Newark Mayor Cory Booker; Apprentice winner, entrepreneur Randal Pinkett; and former President Bill Clinton.
While their numbers are few, there have been other black Rhodes Scholars, such as Alain LeRoy Locke. He was awarded a scholarship in 1907 and went on to become a major philosopher and literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance. “It is generally believed that at the time of the award the Rhodes committee did not know that Locke was Black until after he had been chosen,” reports JBHE. The next African-American Rhodes Scholar wasn’t selected until 1962, when John Edgar Wideman, now an author and professor at Brown University, was chosen. Other African-American Rhodes Scholars include Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School; Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore and now dean of the law school at Howard University; and Franklin D. Raines, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and former CEO of Fannie Mae. The first African-American woman selected as a Rhodes Scholar was selected in 1978, Karen Stevenson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The new awardees are already off to a great start. Buolamwini, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and computer science major, is currently working at the Carter Center in Atlanta. She has founded or co-founded three businesses. At Oxford, she wants to obtain a degree in African studies. Yale University graduate Gunn-Wright holds a Bachelor’s degree in African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She has been working at Women’s Policy Research and plans a Master’s degree in comparative social policy at Oxford. Unlike the other two, Yancy is a still in school. She is senior at Harvard University where she majors in social studies. She has interned at CNN, the Center for American Political Studies and in the British House of Commons. She is also a member of the Harvard Ballet Company. Yancy plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in global health science as a Rhodes Scholar.
Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 – the document that expresses the want, will, and hopes of the people – the country’s political system has reflected a disproportionately low number of women. Black females are even scarcer. However, some black women have been trailblazers in the political arena, shaping history and leaving a legacy that cannot be erased.
Patricia Roberts Harris
Patricia Roberts Harris broke several racial and gender barriers throughout her distinguished political career. In 1965, she became the first black female ambassador when President Lyndon Johnson appointed her as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. Two years later, she returned to her alma mater, Howard University, where she became the law school dean, making her the first black female law school dean in the country. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Harris to serve in his cabinet as secretary of housing and urban development. She was the first black female in a presidential cabinet.
The saying goes behind every great man there’s a great woman–or in President Obama’s case, great women. His administration is said to be a marker of how black women have transitioned from being outsiders to gatekeepers in Washington. A number of these powerful women are the first African-American women in their respective positions, such as head of the Domestic Policy Council, the Environmental Protection Agency and the the Food and Drug Administration. So whether its advising the president on economic policy, health care and national security, or assisting the First Lady and Vice President with their affairs, these 11 women are a part of an elite group who are responsible for the everyday operations of the White House:
Cecilia E. Rouse
As a member of the White House CEA, Rouse works on issues including employment, education, housing, the budget and the economics of workplace flexibility. A former Princeton University professor, she is one of three economics who gives President Obama economic analysis and advice.
By Tarice L.S. Gray
The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the most prestigious and oldest international fellowship programs for graduates and prolific intellectuals in the world. Created in 1902 and named after South African mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes, the program brings together more than 80 scholars each year from South Africa, Australia, Canada, Botswana, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany, Jamaica, and the United States, from which 32 scholars are chosen. Scholars are awarded scholarships worth $50,000 each for two years of study at Oxford University.
Alain Locke was the first African-American to win a Rhodes Scholarship in 1907, igniting a legacy of excellence that African-American students would proudly carry on over the next century. In fact, over the past four decades, Black Americans have won a Rhodes Scholarship almost each year. That’s a very sweet statistic in light of the fact that Rhodes was known to be a “brutal racist.” Here, we honor the bigot, with a list of our nations most gifted Black writers, educators, future doctors and change-makers that have utilized his scholarship to raise the bar of African-American success:
John Edgar Wideman
Wideman was the second African-American in history to be named a Rhodes Scholar in 1963. Since graduating from Oxford University in 1966, he has written 20 books, including Philadelphia Fire and Brothers and Keepers, and earned the MacAurther Genius Grant. Currently, Wideman is Asa Messer Professor and Professor of Africana Studies and English at Brown University.