Condoleezza Rice was the U.S. national security advisor on Sept. 11, 2001 and helped shape America’s response to the terrorist attacks that day. Join Washington Post Live on Friday, Sept. 10 at 3:00pm ET when columnist David Ignatius interviews the former Secretary of State about that fateful day, how the Bush administration responded, the fight against terrorism 20 years later and the recent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

Register for additional 9/11 programming:

9/11: Twenty Years Later with Tony Blair on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 9:30am ET

Washington Post Magazine’s Behind The Cover: How 9/11 Changed Everything Q&A on Friday, Sept. 10 at 12:00pm ET

Highlights

Condoleezza Rice was the U.S. national security advisor on Sept. 11, 2001. She reflects on the events of that day, including being rushed to an underground bunker at the White House. "It was all a bit surreal, but you don't have time to think about that, you have to act." (Washington Post Live)
When asked what then-president George W. Bush’s demeanor was like after the attacks on the day of Sept. 11, 2001, former U.S. national security advisor Condoleezza Rice says he was “quite calm,” “resolute” and “steely.” “I remember thinking that he was angry. We all were. But the emotion I would describes resolute.” (Washington Post Live)
Condoleezza Rice, who was the U.S. national security advisor on Sept. 11, 2001, says she does feel remorse that the government was not able to stop the attacks. I believe we did everything we knew to do with the intelligence that we had..I was national security advisor that day, of course I feel responsibility that we didn’t somehow put the pieces together…in retrospect, knowing what I know, it’s a source of remorse for me that we couldn’t stop it.” (Washington Post Live)
When asked if the United States should formally recognize the Taliban following the takeover in Afghanistan, Condoleezza Rice said she doesn’t see why “we would ever give them that legitimacy." “I find it hard to believe we would ever actually recognize the government that harbored the people that killed 2,997 innocent souls on our territory.” (Washington Post Live)
When asked her thoughts on the invasion of Iraq, Condoleezza Rice says she believes Iraq — and the world — is better off without Saddam Hussein. “Iraq is a fragile but increasingly stable friend of the United States. Yes, they have to deal with the Iranians, but we also have a presence there that can also help us deal with the Iranians.” (Washington Post Live)
Reflecting on the legacy of 9/11, Condoleezza Rice said, “We made our share of mistakes because Afghanistan was always going to be very, very hard. But Sept. 11 didn’t happen again, hasn’t happened yet, and I think that says the last 20 years and the many, many sacrifices have been worth it.” (Washington Post Live)

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm.

From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the sixty-sixth secretary of state of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s assistant to the president for national security affairs (national security adviser) from January 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999, during time which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and an academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender--Integrated Training in the Military.

From 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff, serving as director; senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As a professor of political science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors: the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.

She has authored and coauthored numerous books, including two best sellers, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010). She also wrote To Build a Better World (2019) with Philip Zelikow; Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018) with Amy Zegart; Democracy: Stories From the Long Road to Freedom (2017); Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).

In 1991, Rice cofounded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (an affiliate club of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Dallas. She remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after- school programs.

Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and former secretary of defense Robert M. Gates.

Rice currently serves on the board of Dropbox, an online-storage technology company; C3, an energy software company; and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is a member of the boards of the George W. Bush Institute, the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Previously, Rice served on various additional boards, including those of KiOR, Inc.; the Chevron Corporation; the Charles Schwab Corporation; the Transamerica Corporation; the Hewlett-Packard Company; the University of Notre Dame; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors.

In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Committee, formerly the Bowl Championship Series.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master's from the University of Notre Dame; and her PhD from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Rice is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded eleven honorary doctorates. She currently resides in Stanford, California.