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First Woman Secretary of State Visits Naperville
Jewelry Helped Send Diplomatic Messages

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, shared her experiences before a packed crowd at North Central College. She first started wearing brooches to convey her mood in 1993 during her time as U.S. Ambassador to the UN. She now has more than 200 of the pins, inspiring the title of her new book, "Read My Pins."

"Saddam Hussein called me an unparalleled serpent," Albright said. "And I happened to have a snake pin when I was up in New York at the UN and I thought, well this is fun."

Albright became the 64th Secretary of State during the second Clinton administration in 1997, becoming the highest ranking woman in the history of American government, a feat since matched by Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

"I appreciate what she has done for women," said West Chicago resident Shari Teschke. "Not to put to women down, but to equal the playing field in all senses."

Among those in the crowd, many NCC students who are part of Model UN. Hearing Secretary Albright is inspiring some to pursue a career in diplomacy.

"Just the possibility of learning about different cultures and other perspectives and ways of life," said NCC junior Bri Roozen. "How to adapt our own nation to work around those rather than force our views on them."

"I have suggestions from my professors who could possibly see me working in international relations in the Far East," said NCC senior Sochantra Mel.

Albright says a career in foreign service involves a lot more than negotiation. She offered the students this advice.

"It isn't just dealing with diplomacy, but also thinking about the environment and energy and pandemic disease, the role of religion in foreign policy," she said. "So there are lots of ways for them to use their talents."

Albright has a busy month ahead. Her book tour has stops in 12 other major cities across the country.

"Read My Pins" is Albright's fourth book. Her book signing was sponsored by Anderson's Bookshops and North Central College.

Chris Casquejo reports.

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