The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) is deeply saddened by the passing of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Her loss will no doubt be deeply felt in the United States and Europe, especially at a time when the transatlantic alliance is facing its greatest threat since World War II. She was an inspiration to generations of foreign policy students, public servants, and of course Central and Eastern Europeans. Her loss will also be felt at CEPA, where she chaired our advisory group, the International Leadership Council, alongside Zbigniew Brzezinski until his passing in 2017.

As an immigrant from the Czech Republic to the United States, Secretary Albright was a tireless champion of the transatlantic alliance who embodied the very values that the United States and Europe strive to uphold. As the first woman to become Secretary of State, Secretary Albright’s personal experiences helped bring invaluable perspectives and insight to American diplomacy and inspired future leaders in the US, Europe, and the world around.

She was a trailblazer, a generous mentor, and an unparalleled force in world affairs. She will be dearly missed.

Reflections from the CEPA team

  • Secretary Albright was an inspiration to so many of us, and especially to women in foreign policy. It’s a sad day, especially when the world needs her clarity of vision and deep understanding of the dangers of authoritarianism. For me personally, Secretary Albright’s background – an immigrant to the US, who rose to the highest office in foreign policy and broke the glass ceiling – has been a beacon of light. She never shied away from making a call on what was right and wrong. – Dr. Alina Polyakova, President and CEO
  • We mark with sadness the passing of Secretary Albright, who was among the earliest members of the CEPA International Leadership Council. She was a help to the organization in its infancy and a source of spirited counsel to the NATO Reflection Group in its deliberations. – Dr. A. Wess Mitchell, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
  • My wife and I were honored to host Secretary Albright in Warsaw while serving as US Ambassador to Poland in 2016. Our then 13-year-old daughter joined us and asked her direct questions on how young women can aspire to be Secretary of State. She responded with enthusiasm and candor, as she knew how to do best. – Ambassador Victor Ashe, Member, Board of Directors
  • Secretary Albright was a pioneering woman, a courageous and visionary diplomat, and a passionate force for freedom and democracy around the world. Above all, however – as she liked to say – she was a professor, who dedicated her life to mentoring and guiding one generation after another not only to understand the world but also to serve the world. Those who had the privilege to study under her – thousands of us – are indebted to her for all she taught us. – Filippos Letsas, Chief of Staff
  • The world grieves the loss of Secretary Albright. A fearless leader, a brilliant thinker, an icon of freedom, and a role model for women. She had a special combination of grace, guts, and quick wit. When I traveled with her to the NATO Warsaw summit in 2016, everyone we met had a special story, memory, or moment with her at the center. She was truly inspiring. Leaders like her are rare and she will be sorely missed. – Lauren Speranza, Director, Transatlantic Defense and Security
  • Growing up in war-torn Kosovo meant that some of my earliest memories are seeing Secretary Albright in the news. She brought hope when hope was scarce. I do not dare to imagine where I – and an entire generation of kids – would be without her courageous leadership. I am eternally grateful for her vision and humanity. – Flaka Ismaili, Program Officer, Business Development