BlackFacts Details

Biography and Profile of Susan Rice


Susan Elizabeth Rice


Nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by then President-elect Barack Obama on December 1, 2008


November 17, 1964 in Washington, DC


Graduated National Cathedral School in Washington, DC in 1982


Stanford University, B.A. in History, 1986.


Rhodes Scholar, New College, Oxford University, M.Phil., 1988

Oxford University, D.Phil.

(Ph.D) in International Relations, 1990

Family Background & Influences:

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 Ph.D. at the University of California; taught economics at Cornell as the only black assistant professor; and was a governor of the Federal Reserve from 1979-1986.

A Radcliffe graduate, Lois was a former VP of the College Board and chaired an advisory council of the National Science Foundation.

High School & College Years:

At the elite private girls school that Rice attended, she was nicknamed Spo (short for Sportin); she played three sports, was student council president and 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 yet made her mark via political activism. To protest apartheid, she established a fund for alumni gifts with a catch - the funds could only be accessed if the university divested from companies conducting business with South Africa, or if apartheid were abolished.

Professional Career:

Senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Obama, 2005-08

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

Senior adviser for National Security Affairs, Kerry-Edwards campaign, 2004

Managing Director & Principal of Intellibridge