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Statement by Dr. Rajiv J. Shah on the Passing of the Honorable Madeleine Albright

Throughout her extraordinary life, Secretary Madeleine Albright lifted up humanity. Along the way, she lifted up so many of us too—I’m grateful to have known her and called her a colleague and mentor. On behalf of The Rockefeller Foundation and my family, I send my condolences to Secretary Albright’s daughters and family, her colleagues, and those she inspired to believe in a better world.

As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of State, advocate, professor, and author, Secretary Albright fought tirelessly to meet the challenges of her day, but never lost sight of tomorrow and the people and institutions that will shape it. So even as she ended wars, she started young people’s careers and supported enduring institutions. Even as she told the story of her life—and The Rockefeller Foundation’s modest role in her family’s arrival in the United States—she advocated for all of us to welcome the next refugee or immigrant. And even as she spoke up for her country and her values around the world, she made time to really listen to those who otherwise might not be heard.

At a moment of senseless war, as the forces of darkness and division loom, the world has lost a forceful, just, and righteous voice, and many of us have lost a teacher and mentor. Secretary Albright embodied what she wanted the world to be: she was warm, generous, humorous, hopeful, and gracious. Though we will miss her leadership and friendship at such a critical time, all of us at The Rockefeller Foundation will endeavor to live Secretary Albright’s values and continue her essential work.