Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright participates in a panel on the Future of Religion and Politics at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 2015. Photo by Maria Bryk for the U.S. Department of State.

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, will make her second visit to San Antonio on Feb. 25 for a panel discussion during the World Affairs Council of San Antonio‘s gala.

The event will be held 5:30-9 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Marriott Rivercenter. Plans call for a “star-studded evening,” said Council Chairman Lukin Gilliland Jr., which will include the renowned local attorney Jane Macon receiving the Council’s 2016 International Citizen of the Year Award.

Albright, 78, currently chairs the Albright Stonebridge Group, and the advisory council for The Hague Institute for Global Justice, which was founded in 2011 in The Hague.

Tickets for the benefit dinner are $250 and can be purchased here.

Macon, San Antonio’s first woman city attorney and a Selective Service Appeal Board member, helped attract Albright and other notable figures in local and international politics to this World Affairs Council event.

Jane Macon
Jane Macon

“In all her years of moving and shaking, Jane has amassed this circle of friends,” Gilliland said. “She came to us with is incredible array of people to talk with (for the gala). Jane has quite an outreach I don’t think this city quite understands.”

Macon has been affiliated with more than one dozen local, state and national organizations related to the legal field, as well as major groups that advocate for women and children’s rights.

Former state Sen. John Montford, acting as master of ceremonies for the evening, and former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will introduce the special guest speakers taking part in what is called “Conversations On the Middle East.”

Former Mayor Henry Cisneros will facilitate a discussion with Albright.

There also will be a discussion with biographer David Roosevelt, grandson of the late President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Rajaa Khuzai.

Khuzai, a physician, served on the Iraqi National Assembly as the “voice of women” in the Iraq government and sought to develop a women’s health strategy for postwar Iraq.

Albright’s credentials are widely known. She served as the 20th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the first term of President Bill Clinton’s administration. Clinton then nominated Albright to be the next Secretary of State during his second presidential term, when her predecessor, Warren Christopher, announced he would step down. Upon receiving Senate confirmation in 1997, Albright was the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. government’s history.

Prior to her high-profile positions in the 1990s, Albright had already established a distinguished career involving international relations, domestic politics and academia.

After serving on local public education boards in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s and early ’70s, she was invited to organize a fundraising dinner for 1972 presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Ed Muskie. She eventually went to work for Muskie a few years later.

Following Jimmy Carter’s election as president in 1976, Albright’s former professor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was named National Security Advisor. Brzezinski recruited Albright to serve as the National Security Council’s (NSC) Congressional liaison.

After Carter lost the campaign for re-election, Albright worked at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution, and at Georgetown University, and became more active with the national Democratic Party.

*Top image: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright participates in a panel on the Future of Religion and Politics at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 2015. Photo by Maria Bryk for the U.S. Department of State.

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Edmond Ortiz

Edmond Ortiz

Edmond Ortiz, a lifelong San Antonian, is a freelance reporter/editor who has worked with the San Antonio Express-News and Prime Time Newspapers.