Humphrey Institute to honor Albright

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will receive a public leadership award.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will receive a leadership award from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs on June 8.

She is one of four people the institute will honor at a public leadership awards dinner.

A committee of students, faculty, staff and community members chose the winners from 80 nominees, Julie Lund, a Humphrey Institute spokeswoman said.

Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia, was the 64th secretary of state and the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government history. Secretary of State Colin Powell succeeded her in 2001.

Albright will also speak at the $100-per-person event. The proceeds go to student scholarships.

Albright traveled more than any other secretary of state during her four-year tenure, Humphrey Institute Dean J. Brian Atwood said.

“And that record will hold because (Secretary of State Colin) Powell really hasn’t traveled much,” Atwood said.

Atwood, who worked closely with Albright in the Carter and Clinton administrations, said she was an unyielding diplomat.

Atwood said when former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic – who is being tried for genocide and other war crimes – attempted to paint a positive picture of his presidency, Albright rebuffed his claims.

“She said, ‘Look, don’t try to tell me what the situation is here, I know what’s going on here,’ ” Atwood said.

“She was very tough and she certainly didn’t like him,” he said. “She picked her enemies well.”

Albright’s spokesman said she was unavailable for comment.

Marge Anderson, an American Indian leader; Nathan Garvis, vice president of government affairs for Target Corporation; and Judge Gerald W. Heaney of the U.S. Court of Appeals will also receive awards.