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Secretary Albright: Had an ‘unwavering commitment to human rights and freedom’

Professor available on Madeleine Albright’s legacy

EVANSTON, Ill. --- On a day of geopolitical significance marked by an extraordinary NATO summit meeting on deescalating Russia’s war against Ukraine, the U.S. has lost a veteran diplomatic leader. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first female to serve in the role, has died at the age of 84.

Ian Kelly, Ambassador In Residence in the international studies program at Northwestern University is available to comment on Albright’s legacy.

Kelly is a retired senior foreign service officer who last served as the United States Ambassador to Georgia, from 2015 to 2018. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 2010 to 2013 and served at the U.S. Mission to NATO 2004 to 2007. Prior to his ambassadorships, Kelly held a variety of high-level roles at the U.S. State Department, including serving as the Department spokesman under Secretary Hillary Clinton and as Director of the Office of Russian Affairs. He can be reached at

Quote from Ambassador Kelly

“She played a huge role in standing up against Milosevic’s aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo and was a strong advocate for bringing former Warsaw Pact countries into the EU and NATO. Her unwavering commitment to human rights and freedom helped stabilize Europe in a difficult time.”