Remembering Madeleine Albright

The Institute is saddened to learn of the passing of Madeleine Albright, a towering figure in global diplomacy as well as a devoted supporter of jazz and the Institute’s educational mission.

Secretary Albright with Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and students in the Institute’s Jazz in the Classroom program at Miami’s New World School of the Arts.

Albright was active with the Institute for over 25 years, beginning with her tenure as United States Secretary of State, when she was instrumental in bringing Institute artists to serve a key role at the 1998 Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, and hosted receptions for the Institute’s annual Competition in Washington, D.C. She subsequently became a close friend and generous supporter of the Institute.

Albright believed fervently in the power of the arts, most especially jazz, to forge bonds that transcend political, national, linguistic, religious or ethnic barriers, and to bolster the foundations of democracy. This conviction led her to share her talents frequently with the Institute, from serving as a mentor and advisor on cultural diplomacy, to lending her talents on the drums for Institute events from time to time. She was instrumental in helping the Institute expand its global impact through initiatives including U.S. State Department Tours and International Jazz Day.

Madame Secretary, you will be greatly missed.