Charlotte Gehring ’17 Interviews Madeleine Albright
Charlotte Gehring ’17 scored an exclusive interview with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her daughter, Alice Albright, for an article that ran in the Greenwich Academy Press in March. Charlotte has written for the school paper throughout her time at GA, becoming Junior Editor in 2018 and Editor-in-Chief for the 2019-2020 school year.
In the article, Charlotte asked Secretary Albright questions about her personal experience as a refugee and the impact it might have had on her views toward immigrants, how she prepared for difficult negotiations, the significance of her famous lapel pins, if she felt unique pressures as the first female Secretary of State and what it was like to be a working mother in a high-powered career, among others.
Secretary Albright, who is also a former UN Security Advisor and US Ambassador to the United Nations and currently works as a professor of International Relations at Georgetown University, provided responses that were at times measured; possibly tinged with the benefit of hindsight, but mostly, they were characteristically frank.
“We are living in a very different kind of era, where the kinds of rules and structures that I grew up with don’t exist anymore as a result of changes in technology and globalization,” she said while discussing being a woman and mother in a historically male position and workplace. “You have to work hard. I really do think that you have to work harder than men. I’ve said that there’s plenty of room in the world for mediocre men, but there’s no room for mediocre women… you can’t expect favors of any kind.”
Charlotte also posed several questions to Alice Albright, the CEO of the Global Partnership for Education’s Secretariat, an organization comprised of 65 developing countries, striving to create equitable, quality education. Citing her mother as a superlative role model for compartmentalizing issues but also for multi-tasking, the younger Ms. Albright recounted an experience in Kabul, Afghanistan in which she and a team of visiting dignitaries were detained for five hours in a bunker while the Royal Palace was being bombed. She used the unscheduled free time to go online and locate her son Daniel’s summer reading list and get some books ordered. “It is what working mothers do,” she explained.