Who is Susan Rice   the upcoming director of White House Domestic Policy Council?
Susan Rice. Photo: The Times

Who is Susan Rice?

Susan Elizabeth Rice (b. 1964) was nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by then-President-elect Barack Obama on December 1, 2008. She was born on November 17, 1964, in Washington, DC. The information listed in thoughtco.com reveals that she graduated from National Cathedral School in Washington, DC in 1982 then getting her next degrees at Stanford University, B.A. in History, 1986 and at Rhodes Scholar, New College, Oxford University, M.Phil., 1988, Oxford University, D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in International Relations, 1990

Susan Rice's Early life

Susan was born to Emmett J. Rice, Senior VP at the National Bank of Washington and Lois Dickson Rice, Senior VP for Government Affairs at Control Data Corporation.

A Fulbright Scholar who served with the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII, Emmett integrated the Berkeley Fire Department as its first black fireman while earning a PhD at the University of California. He taught economics at Cornell as the only black assistant professor and was a governor of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1986. A Radcliffe graduate, Lois was a former VP of the College Board and chaired an advisory council of the National Science Foundation.

High School and College Years

At the elite private girls' school that Rice attended, she was nicknamed Spo (short for Sportin'). She played three sports and was the student council president and class valedictorian. At home, the family entertained distinguished friends such as Madeleine Albright, who would later become the first female Secretary of State.

At Stanford, Rice studied hard and made her mark via political activism. To protest apartheid, she established a fund for alumni gifts but with a catch: the funds could only be accessed if the university divested from companies conducting business with South Africa, or if apartheid was abolished.

Professional Career

Who is Susan Rice   the upcoming director of White House Domestic Policy Council?
Obama and Rice. Photo: NYpost.

Senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Obama, 2005-08

Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy, Global Economy & Development, Brookings Institution, 2002-present

A senior adviser for National Security Affairs, Kerry-Edwards campaign, 2004

Managing Director & Principal of Intellibridge International, 2001-02

Management consultant, McKinsey & Company, 1991-93

Clinton Administration

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1997-2001

Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council (NSC), 1995-97

Director for International Organizations & Peacekeeping, NSC, 1993-95

Political Career

While working on the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis, an aide encouraged Rice to consider the National Security Council as a future career path. She began her stint with the NSC in peacekeeping and was soon promoted to senior director for African affairs.

When she was named Assistant Secretary of State for Africa by President Bill Clinton at age 32, she became one of the youngest-ever to hold that position. Her responsibilities included overseeing the actions of more than 40 nations and 5,000 foreign service officials.

Her appointment was regarded with scepticism by some U.S. bureaucrats who cited her youth and inexperience. In Africa, concerns over cultural differences and her ability to deal effectively with traditional African male heads of state were raised. Yet Rice's skill as a charming but firm negotiator and her unflagging determination have aided her in difficult situations. Even critics acknowledge her strengths. One prominent Africa scholar has called her dynamic, a quick study, and good on her feet. If confirmed as U.S. ambassador, Susan Rice will be the second-youngest ambassador to the UN.

Honours and Awards

Co-recipient of the White House’s 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, cooperative relationships between states.

Awarded the Chatham House-British International Studies Association Prize for the most distinguished doctoral dissertation in the UK in the field of International Relations.

President-elect Joe Biden selects Susan Rice as director of White House Domestic Policy Council

Who is Susan Rice   the upcoming director of White House Domestic Policy Council?
Biden and Rice. Photo: NPR

President-elect Joe Biden chose Susan Rice to be the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, a surprise choice that will give the foreign policy veteran a hefty domestic portfolio. As Biden's point of view, Rice is a seasoned diplomat with extensive national security experience, but she has not been heavily involved in domestic policymaking.

Rice was seen as a top contender to be Biden's secretary of state, though she would have faced a difficult confirmation battle. As head of Biden's Domestic Policy Council, Rice will have broad sway over everything from health policy to immigration to rural affairs.

Biden's campaign said the president-elect chose Rice for the role because she "knows government inside and out" and will "turbocharge the effort to build back better."

According to the usatodays.com, Rice's appointment is also a signal Biden wants his domestic and foreign policy advisers to work hand-in-hand. Biden has touted the idea of creating a "foreign policy for the middle class" that takes into account the domestic impact of international trade, globalization and other international issues. Biden's announcement specifically noted Rice's experience working with the National Security Council.

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